Having a great first touch on the soccer ball is essential for success. It allows you to control the ball quickly and accurately, preventing your opponents from gaining possession. Here are five drills that any soccer player can use to improve their first touch in key areas of the game.
- This drill focuses on dribbling and passing accuracy as well as improving your first touch. Mark out a large square area with four cones and set up two players on either end – one acting as a passer, the other as a receiver. The receiver should begin by jogging around each cone until they receive the pass from the passer and take their first touch in the opposite direction before passing it back and setting off again. Gradually increase speed until both players are comfortable performing quick turns and short bursts of acceleration with each pass
- Find an open wall space, then stand across from it about arm’s length away. Pass against the wall using different parts of your body while focusing on taking a quick but controlled first touch away from the wall when receiving each pass - this helps develop muscle memory for quick reactions when receiving passes in games.
Ramp Up Drill
- Improving your ability to juggle the ball helps accustom your feet to controlling it without having to look directly at it – this is especially important when shooting or volleying since you won’t always have time to look down at your feet during those moments on the field. Focus on keeping balls close to your feet as much as possible while taking short, precise touches with alternate feet every time it comes back down into play
Wall Ball Drill
- This drill involves running with an increased intensity towards a stationary ball (about 8-10m away) in order take an aggressive first touch leading into an explosive sprint once you gain possession of it. Make sure to practice making sharp turns prior so that you can accelerate away from defenders quickly once you make contact with ball.
- Stand facing a wall about arm’s length away then proceed kick a mid-sized soccer ball into it – try performing this multiple times without looking down at where you kicked it initially so that your first touch becomes instinctive and reflexive rather than reliant upon conscious thought or vision when chasing after balls during live gameplay scenarios