Soccer First Touch

When a player has the opportunity to touch the ball with his or her foot, body or head, as the receiver of a pass, as a result of "winning" a loose ball, or any time the player gets to touch the ball, the player's "first touch" on the ball is critical. A great first touch is one of the skills needed to be a great player. The first touch is critical because soccer is a fast game played under pressure, and players who can play fast and retain control while under pressure have a huge advantage. For example, if a player is under pressure and can't quickly control the ball on the "first touch", the opponent will often take away the ball. Another example is when a receiver one-touches a pass away from pressure into Open Space in order to retain possession or to get an open shot or pass. A great first touch allows a player to play faster, more creatively, and more successfully.

Every "one touch" shot or pass occurs on the "first touch", so if a player wants to be good at one-touch, he or she should try to develop a good "first touch". However, a good first touch doesn't mean everything has to be one touch - it just means that the player has good control on the first touch (a player, might, for example, block a pass into open space away from an opponent and then pass or shoot on the second touch, or might retain possession and dribble or pass the ball).

The Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race Practice Game can teach "first touch" and "one touch" because the players who can "first touch" and "one touch" will win that game and those who don't will usually lose. The coach can easily teach first touch and one touch by using that game - just demonstrate and give the players "tips" after each game about how they can win, and explain why the winners won the game. The Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race Practice Game is played at Game Speed and under pressure, so players will learn to play fast and under pressure.

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