Soccer is a very demanding and competitive game.
And because of that, spaces to make it to higher ranks are limited with high standards.
Therefore, players have to constantly acquire new skills. And that includes ball controlling.
So have your players been struggling with ball possession?
If yes, then you’re reading the right article.
Below are some of the best 10 soccer ball control drills, to help you get them in shape.
Let’s get started!
1. Pull and Turn
This drill is ideal for young beginners.
Its focus is to equip the player with impressive turning and changing direction skills.
Also, it equips them with necessary ball defending techniques from defenders.
Equipment needed; 1-ball.
Number of players; 1.
Guide the player to pull the ball back using the sole of their foot and then quickly, with using the outside side of the same foot to cut sideways or backward.
The player should at the same time use their body to shield the ball from the nearby defender as they pass the ball.
2. Ronnies Control
This drill is most suitable for young soccer player groups.
Get the players into the pitch and allocate ball to each one of them.
They will then proceed to practice how to control it from several angles within the field.
Don’t forget to also add in different ball flights and height distances.
For instance, let them throw a ball way above their head and try to control it as it comes down with their thighs, chest, inner and outer foot, stronger and weaker feet.
- Let every individual receive a ball and practice on their own
- Let players work in pairs. That’s two players share a ball.
3. Sole Roles
The focus of this drill is to help players improve their sole touch.
Once they master it, they can comfortably roll the ball further from the defenders and set the pace in game playing.
- Outside to Inside roll
Here the players are required to use the sole of their foot to pull the ball back from the front side of their body, towards the inside. And then vice versa.
Only one foot is required here.
- The Cross Body
In this drill, the player uses the soles of their feet to roll the ball across their body.
First, the right foot rolls the ball across the body from right to left and then the left foot rolls it from left to right.
The secret is to keep alternating until they get comfortable or want to stop.
4. Turning Chain
The turning chain drill requires you to set up two practicing areas.
The 1st one should be smaller. Box it off and leave the outer remaining part to be used as the 2nd area.
Once you have set-up the place, divide your team into two teams and let each team select its playing area.
One should be on the smaller inside part, while the other takes the outer larger area.
Since this drill is simple, it can be used by beginners of both the younger and older players.
The players in the middle section of the pitch receive the ball from the outside-area players and then perform a chain of 3/4/5/6/7, etc. turns.
Once done, they return the ball to a random player within the outer area and the circle continues.
#1: The focus of the drill is to help individual players improve their ball balancing skills.
Therefore, as they master the concept, alternate between switching the size of the inner box to challenge the players.’
#2: As the playing advances, encourage the players to add more ball controlling skills by increasing height, accuracy and power variations.
Performing a V-Roll is quite tricky to perform making it more favorable for older players.
For this, position the players and let them use one of their feet to touch the ball forward and then proceed to pull it across their body.
Afterward, the player should use their remaining to give it a forward touch and then alternating with both feet.
The movements should be tight at all times, while the players remain on their toes perform hops with the other foot.
With a little bit of practice, players will develop a rhythm and enjoy the drill.
The obstacle drill is perfect for younger age groups. But that doesn’t mean that the older players can’t use it.
When it comes to accessories, you can use whichever equipment you possess, to help you come-up with obstacle courses, where players will be making small touches to ensure ball control.
For instance, players get to dribble the ball through the obstacle courses, before passing it on to another player, within their team, on the opposite end.
#1. Let 4 players cross through the obstacle at the same time
#2. Change the plying directions and alternate between left, right, center, top, and bottom
#3. Divide the players and select some that will assume the roles of the active and passive defenders.
7. Happy Feet
The focus of the drill is for players to master the art of ball switching between their feet.
So that they can successfully use the inside touch as they move the ball back and forth between their feet.
And because of the complexity of the Happy Feet, it’s most ideal for older players.
During the early stages of practicing, it’s normal for players to lose control of the ball.
They might end up reaching out for it way ahead or the ball might stick between their feet.
But this ill slowly fade away as they master the skills.
#1. Translate unto the field; here the player skillfully evades the tackle and then quickly controls the ball using the inside touch, before moving the ball to the other foot for a shot or pass.
#2. You can add a challenge to the drill by adding a few complex skills.
For instance, let the players try increasing their speed and perform the drill without looking at the ball.
This will help them in real matches.
8. Clock Ball Control
This should be simple to perform, so it can perfectly work with younger players.
To set up, get 4 cones or whichever equipment you can easily find and place them in a circle in the middle of the playing area.
Gather the players and divide them into 4 groups and position them at an equal distance in the playing area.
This drill calls for creativity come-up with as many challenges as you please.
But, ensure the players perform a dribble towards the middle cones, adding in a turn before dribbling to the next cone.
#1. Continually increase speed from anywhere between 50%-80%
#2. Let the players alternate between 4 dribbles clockwise and 4 dribbles anticlockwise
#3. Let players alternate between right football control clockwise and left foot control anti-clockwise.
Toe touches are a very important aspect of ball controlling, more especially if you want to pull and roll.
Performing toe touches drill helps you learn how to quickly touch the top of the ball.
For this, let the players lift their knees and touch the top of the ball and then quickly proceed to place the foot on the ground, as they repeat the same process with the other foot.
#1. As the players begin to master the drill, let them gradually increase the speed.
And then pair them up so that they each perform the drill on either half of the ball.
10. Pull and Cut
This drill is impressive and works great to bring excitement to games.
It increases the ability of players to change direction by working on the capabilities of the players’ inside and sole touches.
Here, let the players use the pull and back drill to pull the ball back, but without turning their body.
And then, the player should quickly give the ball a touch behind their body, but this time using the inside touch, using the same foot.
They should alternate and continue practicing until they master the concept.
5 general tips to improve control drills
- Take time to learn how to control the ball first before training on dribbling, ball receiving among other skills.
- Always land on the balls of your feet and not heels. Stay on your toes, always.
- Don’t let the ball wander too far. Keep it close least the defense steals it from you.
- Learn all the four touches and use them. It will help you cut away the defense.
- If drills prove too difficult, use juggling as you work on mastering.
For players to be effective soccer players, they have to know how to control the ball.
Controlling ensures they possess the ball for long, tremendously increasing their scoring chances.
We hope you find the above tips helpful.
Do share what worked for you in the comment section.