The first touch is one of the most important skills in football. It can be the difference between a successful pass, a shot on goal, or losing possession. Having a good first touch allows players to control the ball quickly, efficiently, and precisely. However, it’s not always easy to master. In this article, we’ll explore five techniques to help you improve your first touch in football.
#1. Focus on Your Footwork
Having good footwork is essential for controlling the ball effectively. When receiving the ball, focus on positioning your body and feet in a way that allows you to take the ball with a soft touch. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and position your non-dominant foot slightly before the ball. Keep your knees slightly bent, and be prepared to adjust your body as the ball comes towards you.
#2. Anticipate the Ball’s Movement
Anticipation is key to developing a good first touch in football. Try to read the game and anticipate where the ball will be played. This will give you an extra second to prepare your body and get into a good position to receive the ball. Additionally, make sure to keep your eyes on the ball at all times, so you can track its movement and be ready to receive it.
#3. Use Your Body to Shield the Ball
When you receive the ball, use your body to protect it from defenders. As you take the ball with your foot, use your body to shield the ball and prevent the defender from getting in between you and the ball. This will allow you to keep possession of the ball and create more opportunities for your team.
#4. Practice with Different Surfaces
One of the best ways to improve your first touch is to practice with different surfaces. This will help you develop a better feel for the ball and improve your control. Try practicing with the inside and outside of your foot and with the sole and laces of your boot. You can also practice controlling the ball in the air, which will help you improve your control and touch when receiving high balls.
#5. Play Small-Sided Games
Playing small-sided games is an excellent way to improve your first touch in a game-like setting. These games typically involve smaller teams, smaller pitches, and fewer players. This means you will have more touches on the ball and more opportunities to practice your first touch in a real-game scenario. Additionally, playing small-sided games can help you develop your decision-making skills, which are essential for improving your first touch in football.
Improving your first touch is important to becoming a better football player. By focusing on your footwork, anticipating the ball’s movement, using your body to shield the ball, practicing with different surfaces, and playing small-sided games, you can develop better control and become a more effective player on the pitch. Remember, improving your first touch takes time and practice, so be patient and keep working at it. You can take your game to the next level with dedication and hard work.