Mastering soccer ball control is essential for any soccer player looking to improve their skills on the field. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, having strong ball control can make a significant difference in your game. In this article, we will explore the importance of soccer ball control, essential techniques to improve your control, drills to enhance your skills, and tips to master ball control. By incorporating these tips and drills into your training routine, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master of soccer ball control.

Key Takeaways

  • Developing a strong foundation is crucial for improving soccer ball control.
  • Improving dribbling skills can greatly enhance your ability to control the ball.
  • Enhancing passing accuracy is essential for effective ball control.
  • First touch control, close ball control, shielding the ball, and turning are key techniques for mastering ball control.
  • Drills such as cone dribbling, wall pass, juggling, and obstacle course can help improve soccer ball control.

The Importance of Soccer Ball Control

Developing a Strong Foundation

For young soccer players, ball control is a key competency for long-term success. Building a strong foundation in ball control is pivotal. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, mastering the fundamentals of ball control is essential. It allows you to maintain possession, make accurate passes, and create scoring opportunities. Developing good ball control requires practice, repetition, and dedication. By focusing on improving your first touch, dribbling skills, and passing accuracy, you can enhance your overall performance on the field.

Improving Dribbling Skills

When it comes to improving dribbling skills, there are several key tips that can help us take our game to the next level. One important aspect is to maintain proper body control when changing direction to avoid contact injuries. This can be achieved by practicing feints and skills to create space from defenders. Another crucial tip is to focus on reacting quickly to find or create openings. This can be done by linking dribbling moves directly to shooting chances. By incorporating these techniques into our training, we can enhance our dribbling skills and elevate our overall performance on the field.

Enhancing Passing Accuracy

Improving passing accuracy is crucial for effective team play in soccer. It allows players to maintain possession, create scoring opportunities, and execute strategic plays. One study titled ‘The impact of target shooting exercise on passing accuracy in soccer games’ analyzed the effects of shooting target exercises on passing accuracy. The data analysis concluded that shooting target exercise improved the accuracy of the pass in the soccer game. This finding highlights the importance of incorporating target shooting drills into training sessions to enhance passing accuracy. By practicing these drills, teams can improve their passing skills and overall coordination on the field.

Essential Techniques for Soccer Ball Control

First Touch Control

In the realm of soccer technology, TOCA’s Touch Trainer stands out as a revolutionary tool. This proprietary technology is designed to enhance a player’s first touch – a crucial skill in soccer. The Touch Trainer is not just another training aid; it’s a groundbreaking approach that guarantees at least 200 match-quality touches every training session. This volume of touches is significant compared to traditional training programs, which typically offer fewer opportunities for players to interact with the ball.

The secret behind the Touch Trainer’s effectiveness lies in TOCA’s innovative “small ball” approach. By using smaller and lighter balls, players are forced to develop a delicate and precise touch. This translates to improved control and the ability to quickly and accurately receive and distribute the ball.

With the Touch Trainer, players can experience the following benefits:

  • Enhanced Technical Skills
  • Increased Touches: Technologies like the Touch Trainer ensure players get more touches on the ball, which is essential for improving ball control and first-touch skills.
  • Precision Training: Smart Targets and similar devices offer precise training aids, helping players improve their accuracy and timing.

The Touch Trainer is truly a game-changer in soccer training. Its innovative design and focus on first touch control make it an invaluable tool for players looking to master their ball control skills.

Close Ball Control

Close ball control is a crucial skill that allows us to maintain possession and navigate tight spaces on the field. It involves keeping the ball close to our feet, using quick touches and precise movements to outmaneuver opponents. To improve close ball control, we can focus on a few key techniques:

  • Dribble with the shoelaces when dribbling to maintain better control.
  • Keep the ball close in pressure and away from you in space.
  • Use your body to protect the ball from defenders.
  • Change speed and pace to lose the defender.

Remember, close ball control requires practice and repetition. By mastering this skill, we can confidently navigate through crowded areas and maintain possession of the ball.

Shielding the Ball

Shielding the ball from opponents is a crucial aspect of dribbling. Use your body as a barrier between the ball and your opponent. Keep arms up and out for balance. Keep the head and eyes up. The eyes should not be on the ball. Scan the field as you are dribbling. This will improve your vison and awareness. Dribble with the shoelaces when dribbling. Keep the ball close in pressure and away from you in space. Dribble with confidence. When taking players on, get to the space behind the defender. Change of speed and change of pace to lose the defender. Accelerate once you have beat the defender. Don’t do too many moves, or attempt to beat the same defender multiple times. Low center of gravity.

Turning and Changing Directions

Turning and changing directions quickly and effectively is a crucial skill in soccer. It allows us to evade defenders and create scoring opportunities. To improve our ability in this aspect, we can focus on a few key techniques:

  1. Change of Speed and Pace: By varying our speed and pace, we can catch defenders off guard and create space for ourselves. It’s important to accelerate once we have beaten the defender.

  2. Body Positioning: Using our body to protect the ball is essential when turning and changing directions. We can shield the ball from defenders by positioning our body between them and the ball.

  3. Smart Decision Making: It’s important to make quick and smart decisions when turning and changing directions. Doing too many moves or attempting to beat the same defender multiple times can be counterproductive. Instead, we should focus on making efficient and effective moves.

By practicing these techniques regularly, we can improve our ability to turn and change directions on the soccer field.

Drills to Improve Soccer Ball Control

Cone Dribbling Drill

Setting up a course with cones, players can practice dribbling in and out of the cones, weaving through them with quick and precise movements. This drill allows players to work on their close ball control and change of direction, which are essential skills in soccer. It also helps them learn to keep their head up and scan the field while dribbling. So grab some cones and let the dribbling fun begin!

Passing Practice

Passing practice is an essential skill for young soccer players to develop. It helps them learn how to work as a team and move the ball effectively. By practicing passing, kids can improve their confidence with the ball.

Wall Pass Drill

The Wall Pass Drill is an excellent exercise for improving your receiving and passing skills. By kicking the ball against a wall and controlling it on its return, you can enhance your first touch and develop accuracy in your passes. This drill is simple yet effective, allowing you to practice on your own or with a partner. It helps you become more comfortable with the ball and improves your ability to make quick decisions on the field. Remember to focus on technique and maintain good body positioning while performing the Wall Pass Drill.

Juggling Drill

The juggling drill is a great exercise to improve your touch and control over the ball. It involves keeping the ball in the air using various parts of your body, such as your feet, thighs, and head. This drill helps develop your coordination and balance, as well as your ability to make quick adjustments to keep the ball in play. It’s important to start with a low number of juggles and gradually increase the difficulty as you improve. Practicing this drill regularly will greatly enhance your ball control skills.

Obstacle Course Drill

The Obstacle Course Drill is a challenging exercise that focuses on improving agility and coordination while maneuvering the soccer ball around obstacles. This drill helps players develop quick reflexes and sharp ball control skills. It is important to maintain proper body control and balance throughout the drill to prevent falls or collisions. The Obstacle Course Drill can be set up using cones or other objects to create a course with various obstacles. Players must navigate through the course, dribbling the ball and avoiding the obstacles. This drill is a great way to simulate game-like situations and enhance players’ ability to make quick decisions while maintaining control of the ball.

Tips for Mastering Soccer Ball Control

Practice Regularly

Practicing regularly is crucial for improving soccer ball control. Consistent practice allows us to develop muscle memory and improve our skills over time. It is important to dedicate time each day to work on different aspects of ball control, such as first touch, dribbling, and passing. By practicing regularly, we can build a strong foundation and enhance our overall performance on the field.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your practice sessions:

  • Set specific goals for each practice session to focus on areas that need improvement.
  • Break down complex skills into smaller drills to master each component.
  • Challenge yourself by increasing the difficulty level of the drills as you progress.
  • Stay motivated and disciplined, even on days when you don’t feel like practicing.

Remember, the more you practice, the better you will become. So make it a habit to practice regularly and watch your soccer ball control skills soar!

Focus on Technique

When it comes to mastering soccer ball control, focusing on technique is crucial. Technique refers to the proper execution of skills and movements, and it plays a significant role in improving control over the ball. Developing good technique allows players to have better control over their touches, passes, and dribbles. It is important to pay attention to the details of each technique and practice them consistently.

To enhance your technique, here are some tips:

  1. Maintain proper body positioning: Position your body in a way that allows for optimal balance and stability. This includes keeping your knees slightly bent, maintaining a low center of gravity, and staying on the balls of your feet.
  2. Focus on the contact point: Pay attention to where your foot makes contact with the ball. Aim to make clean and precise contact, using the appropriate surface of your foot for different techniques.
  3. Use your body as a shield: When receiving the ball, use your body to protect it from opponents. Position yourself between the ball and the defender, using your arms and body to shield the ball.

Remember, mastering technique takes time and practice. By focusing on technique, you can greatly improve your soccer ball control.

Use Both Feet

Mastering the ability to use both feet in soccer is crucial for becoming a well-rounded player. It not only allows us to have more options on the field but also improves our overall ball control and decision-making. When we can confidently use both feet, we can easily switch directions, evade defenders, and create scoring opportunities. To develop this skill, we can incorporate specific drills into our training routine. One effective drill is the ‘Two-Footed Dribbling Drill’, where we focus on dribbling the ball using both feet alternately. This drill helps improve our coordination, balance, and footwork. Another useful drill is the ‘Passing Accuracy Drill’, where we practice passing the ball accurately with both feet to different targets. By consistently practicing these drills, we can enhance our ability to use both feet and elevate our soccer ball control to the next level.

Watch and Learn from Professionals

Watching professional soccer players in action can be incredibly beneficial for improving your ball control skills. By observing their techniques, movements, and decision-making on the field, you can gain valuable insights and inspiration for your own game. Pay close attention to how they control the ball with their first touch, how they navigate tight spaces with close ball control, and how they shield the ball from opponents. Additionally, observe how they quickly turn and change directions to evade defenders. Take note of these techniques and incorporate them into your own training sessions to enhance your soccer ball control.

To further enhance your learning experience, consider watching game highlights, analysis videos, and tutorials featuring professional players. These resources can provide valuable breakdowns of specific skills and tactics used by top-level players. By studying and emulating their techniques, you can accelerate your progress in mastering soccer ball control.

Remember, watching and learning from professionals is not about trying to replicate their every move, but rather understanding the principles and concepts behind their actions. Adapt their techniques to suit your own style and strengths, and continuously practice and refine your skills to become a well-rounded player.


Mastering soccer ball control is essential for players of all levels. By focusing on the fundamentals and practicing regularly, players can improve their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. The key is to stay positive, be patient, and enjoy the game. With the right drills and techniques, players can develop their ball control and become more confident on the field. So, keep practicing and never stop learning!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the importance of soccer ball control?

Soccer ball control is important because it allows players to maintain possession, make accurate passes, and create scoring opportunities.

How can I improve my dribbling skills?

To improve dribbling skills, practice using different parts of your foot, keep the ball close to your body, and work on changing direction quickly.

What are some essential techniques for soccer ball control?

Some essential techniques for soccer ball control include first touch control, close ball control, shielding the ball, and turning and changing directions.

What are some drills to improve soccer ball control?

Some drills to improve soccer ball control include cone dribbling drill, wall pass drill, juggling drill, and obstacle course drill.

How often should I practice to master soccer ball control?

To master soccer ball control, it is recommended to practice regularly, at least a few times a week.

Is it important to use both feet for soccer ball control?

Yes, using both feet for soccer ball control is important as it allows you to have more versatility and adaptability on the field.

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