Ball control seems simple, but mastery takes practice, more practice than any other skill. Coaches recommend practicing ball control the most. I agree. If I had the choice of choosing just one skill to practice 20 minutes a day, I would choose ball control.
To master ball control, you need to touch the ball. These drills allow you to work on many different types of touches, and will help you warm up for a soccer practice or training session. Do them every training session if possible.
The names a favorite with young kids. Use the inside of both feet and touch it back and forth between your legs. The ball will move to far in front or behind you at first. When it does, stop, move the ball back between your legs, and start again.
After you have gotten the hang of it, make your touches precise. The ball should move gently between your feet. Try increasing speed. Try glimpsing up then looking back at the ball. Eventually, you will be able to do this drill without ever looking at the ball.
This seems like a simple drill, but it actually can be quite hard. Alternate touching the top of the ball with the balls of your feet. Touch the ball lightly. If you feel frustrated, stop and try again tomorrow. This drill can be frustrating, and continuing through frustration can ruin your motivation.
Once you feel comfortable, you can increase the speed of your touches. When you are moving fast, this can be a tiring exercise. You can also try having another player do toe-touches on one side of the ball while you do them on the other.
This drill will make you comfortable using the sole of your feet. Roll the ball to one side with one foot than to the other side with your other foot. Hop slightly with the foot you roll the ball with when transitioning from one foot to the next. This drill is very challenging for players not used to the sole touch.
This drill is tricky at first, but you will soon get a handle on it. Pull the pull toward the foot that you pull it with. Then touch it with the inside of that foot to your opposite foot. With the opposite foot, touch the ball forward and a little to the side of the pulling foot. Then pull it back and start again.
Try to keep it as tight and fast as possible. This drill is all about rhythm, staying light, and hopping with the foot not currently on the ball. It improves different touches and builds the motion for a v-pull (a soccer move).
Pull and Cut
Pull the ball behind your leg. Then touch it with the inside around your other leg without turning your body. Then do it the opposite way.
This drill also requires a good amount of rythum and will take a bit to get used to. Hopping with the opposite is a must in this drill, or you will find it nearly impossible to develop a rhythm.
Improve your Ball Control
This article is part of our soccer ball control guide, an in-depth guide that allows you to learn and then train the skill. This is the last article, but you should read the other articles if you haven’t. If you have finished the guide, you should look at our soccer dribbling guide.