Ball control isn’t a flashy skill, but it’s very important. In my opinion it’s the most important skill in soccer. Without it, you’re nearly useless on the pitch.
Use these tips to improve your ball control. Work at it daily and you will notice improvements fast.
Here’s 9 soccer ball control tips:
Remember the small hop
In between touches, you should often perform a small hop with the leg that is not touching the ball. This makes the touch much easier as you are much more balanced.
Stay light on your feet
Keeping a light and bouncy approach will really improve how well you can control the ball.
Stay on your toes
Landing on your heels makes ball control seem very hard. You will stumble all over the place. Do yourself a favor and be on the balls of your feet.
Stay centered on the ball
If you let the ball get away from you, then you will lose your balance, and you may lose control of the ball. Always stay centered on the ball so you can go anyway with it.
Don’t underestimate the place foot/leg
When you are focused on the leg/foot that is controlling the ball, you may not pay attention to your opposite leg/foot. The leg not touching the ball actually makes a big difference in ball control. We will talk more about it in the dribbling section, but for right now, be aware of it.
Train with both feet
Having two magical feet instead of one has many advantages. You can play at different sides of the pitch, shield the ball when you otherwise can not, and cut in any direction.
So it is important to train both feet. While it may be frustrating using your weak foot at first, you will soon get used to it, and unleash a new outlook on control and dribbling.
Train ball control the most
Ball control should be something you work on every training session because it is that important. If you only have 20 minutes in a day to practice, I would practice ball control for the full twenty minutes.
Use all the touches
It is important for your development as a player to use all the touches. Some touches such as the sole may feel uncomfortable and hard at first, but you need to master all of the touches.
Warm up with ball control drills
These are a great way to get your ball control for the session over with, while warming up. You can easily get over 1000 touches in 15-20 minutes of hard training. After using these drills you will be warmed up, have many touches on the ball, and trained ball control.
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 second article in the guide. Our Soccer Ball Control Drills article is another useful resource.