How can I improve my players’ first touch?

“Hi Steve, I’m trying to improve my U10 girls team with their first touch. Have you any ideas that could help me out?”

My answer

You’re right to want to improve your players’ first touch. It is the most important part of any young football player’s armoury. Without a good first touch, everything else becomes much more difficult and frustrating.

There is quite a bit of advice about how to improve a player’s first touch on the footy4kids website. The links below offer two examples.

http://www.footy4kids.co.uk/first_touch_and_receiving_the_ball.htm

http://www.footy4kids.co.uk/first_touch_and_control.htm

Emphasise to your players the need to receive the ball softly, to turn away from pressure and make sure they are competent at shielding the ball.

You can also play small-sided games (SSGs) and limit the number of times your players can touch the ball. Start with three touches, then two and finally one.

But be patient. It takes a lot of time for young players to master the skill and you don’t want to discourage them. They should be able to experience success at three/two touches before moving onto one touch.

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