Manipulating the ball

Manipulating the ball

This session is about basic ball control skills. You only need six players to complete the session, but you can easily extend it to meet your needs. With much more players, you can have several meshes working at the same time.

What do you tell your players that the session is about:

Improving ball knowledge and touch.

Developing rotation and dribbling skills.

What do you tell your players:

Juggle and shuffle the ball between different surfaces.

Move the ball with different parts of the foot.

Try to combine movements such as rotation and feeding.

Develop deceptive movements to hide your intentions.

What to shout:

“Faster” “slower” / “stop” “start”.

“Turn” “shuffle”.

“Dribbling” / “passing” “changing balls”.

“Keep it close.”

What to look for:

Players allowing the ball outside their playing distance.

Let players repeat the same thing, let them experiment.

Approaching others, colliding.

Not using all surfaces, especially both feet.

Trying things that are impractical or too difficult.

Good combinations, underline them.

What to think about:

Where would they use these skills in the game? When will these skills be useful in the match? Why would they do something clever in the game? Use the game to highlight these thoughts.

What do you do with your players:

Stage 1: On a 20 x 20m grid, give each player a ball (10-12 players). Instruct them to move the ball around the net without touching anyone or leaving the net. They must visit every corner and travel diagonally as well as sideways. The goal is simply to maintain control of the ball and to move through different foot surfaces to move it.

Stage 2: Players must meet the same goals, but now they respond to the coach’s calls, because in “what to shout” give them a number of tasks and come up with their own, ask them to also add. “Draw” means to play the ball quickly between alternating feet with one touch. “Change” means that each player stops the ball dead and runs to switch to another. Encourage players to experiment and demonstrate ideas.


Take part in the competition, it is also a safe way to introduce a solution to the problem. A player can knock another player’s ball out of the field, but only under his own ball under control. The last is the winner. Try it on bands (red versus blues).

How could I put this in a game situation:

Play a 5v5 (6v6) game on the 50m / 60m x 35m / 40m pitch. Divide the pitch into three parts and limit players to zones. The player can move to the next zone, beating the player, turning with a smart or left move. Players in the final third can only score points as a result of a clever trick or turn, and then they can shoot.

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