Soccer drill for aerial ball control

This soccer drill is about coaching your players to use the top of the foot to “cushion” control a ball to improve touch in tight situations such as a goal-kick dropping in to a crowded midfield.

The aim of this soccer drill is for your players to be able to bring the ball under instant control, giving them time to perform the next soccer skill.

What players have to think about in the drill

  • Move into the ball’s line of flight.

  • Keep eyes on the ball.

  • Raise the controlling foot towards the ball and maintain balance.

  • Absorb as much pace off the ball as possible by using a “soft” touch – withdrawing the foot on impact and keeping it relaxed. Cushion with the laces by bending the knee and ankle on contact.
soccer drill to get players using aerial ball control skills

What players have to do in the drill
  • Drop the ball from about waist height and, with the foot just above the ground, control it with the laces.

  • To progress the drill, throw the ball straight up above head height, allow it to bounce, then control it.

  • Practise this soccer drill using both feet.
How to develop the drill
  • The receiving player stands inside a 5x5 yard area with a server standing approximately 5 yards outside it.

  • The server throws the ball to the receiver who must control the ball so that it stays in the square.

  • After 10 attempts using both feet, the players switch roles.

  • Next, add an extra cone to the middle of the area. The server now stands at one of the outside cones and the player receiving to the right of the central cone.

  • After each underarm throw, control and return, the receiver jogs backwards to the furthest cone, before jogging forward to the other side of central cone to receive the next throw.

  • After 10 attempts using both feet, the players switch roles.

For more soccer coaching tips to improve ball control skills, click here.

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