Every soccer player wants better control of the ball! Ball control is a critical aspect of the game, as it allows players to effectively maneuver around opponents and execute their plays. Good ball control is what separates the average players from the exceptional ones. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, improving your ball control is an ongoing process that requires regular practice and attention. Here are some tips and exercises to help you enhance your ball control skills.
- Work on Your Dribbling - EVERY DAY!
Dribbling is the foundation of ball control in soccer. The more time you spend dribbling the ball, the better your ball control will become. Start by practicing basic dribbling techniques, such as keeping your head up, using the inside and outside of your feet, and changing direction. Then, try incorporating different dribbling exercises into your routine, such as cones drills, speed dribbling, and 1v1 dribbling challenges.
- Practice Juggling
Juggling is a fun way to improve your ball control and coordination. Start by kicking the ball up into the air and then using different parts of your body to keep it aloft. As you get better, try juggling with both feet and increasing the number of touches you take before the ball hits the ground. The Techne App provides many great ways to practice and improve your juggling. You can even test yourself and track your improvement using our Time Trial skill tests.
- Focus on First Touch
The first touch is arguably the most important aspect of ball control, as it sets up your next move. Without a good first touch, you may not have the opportunity for a second touch. When the ball comes to you, focus on controlling it with the part of your body that gives you the most control, such as the inside or outside of your foot, your chest, or your thigh. Practice receiving passes with different parts of your body, and be mindful of the surface and pace of the ball when it arrives.
- Strengthen Your Legs and Feet
A strong lower body is essential for good ball control, as your legs and feet provide the stability and power needed to control the ball effectively. Try incorporating exercises like ankle hops, toe raises, and calf raises into your workout routine to strengthen your lower legs and improve your ball control. Techne’s Physical Training sessions include many exercises for soccer that will help you gain this type of soccer-specific strength.
- Experiment with Different Surfaces
Playing on different surfaces can help you develop your ball control skills, as it requires you to adapt to new conditions and test your control in new ways. Try playing on grass, artificial turf, and concrete, and see how each surface affects your ball control.
In conclusion, improving your ball control in soccer requires consistent practice and focus. By incorporating these tips and exercises into your training regimen, you’ll be well on your way to taking your ball control skills to the next level. Remember, good things come to those who persist and are patient, so keep practicing and have fun!