SOCCER TRAINING TIP: BALL CONTROL

Personal trainer, Tavia Ambler

Soccer requires precise passing skills. If everyone in the team masters this skill, benefits include:

  • Ability to ‘control’ the game, with a higher percentage of possession time with the ball thus increased chances of setting up vital plays and goals.
  • Ability to fatigue opponents by making them chase the ball.

Components that must come together to execute a good pass include: technique, positioning, movement, pace and accuracy. Along with the physical side of skills and play, players need to communicate and be aware of their team members.

Passing/ball drills

Jogging while dribbling the ball

Begin by jogging around the oval while touching the ball in front. Progress to setting the ball up for a variety of passes. For example, touch the ball with the outside of the foot, then move into position to make a pass with the inside of the same foot. Be sure to use the right foot and left foot equally.

3-man weave

In a group of three, begin in a straight line with one ball between you. While jogging, the middle player kicks the ball to the person to their left, then runs behind them. That player then ends up in the middle and, after receiving the pass, kicks to the player on the right then runs behind them. Repeat this process until you have reached the end of the ground.

Dribbling around a set of cones

Along the oval, set up a group of cones one to two metres apart. Dribble the ball around the cones, keeping control to ensure it doesn’t hit any of the cones.

Kick to kick (short and long passing)

Find a partner and stand short distance from each other. Start by kicking the ball back and forth, maintaining control. Add in a few variations: use both feet then eventually change the distance and angles, and run between each other.

Ball pass and goal combination

With a group of players, stand in a line about 25 metres from the goals. Have a player/coach kick the ball out in front of the line so that the front player has to run on to the soccer ball and then set up and kick a goal. Repeat so that each player has about five turns.

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