Soccer coaching tips for receiving the ball and moving off

Technical ability is more important than ever in the modern game, and the ability to control the ball and move quickly can make a great difference to a team's forward options.

Soccer players who possess the ability to receive, control instantly, turn and move away, have a huge advantage, particularly in the cluttered central midfield areas of youth football.

This move is designed to get players focused on receiving the ball and moving off. It relies on a good first touch and develops into a passage of play that can open up space for your team to exploit.

How to set it up

  • You need three players for this exercise, plus a good number of balls and cones. Create a two-yard square control box.
  • From each of the two left-hand cones of the box, walk diagonally for 12 yards and create two more identical coned squares.
  • From each of the two right-hand cones of the box, measure five yards at a slight angle, placing two cones at these points.

Getting started

  • Two soccer players in the left-hand boxes take it in turns to play balls to the player in the control box.
  • Get the serving players to pass balls at different heights so the player gets used to controlling it with different parts of his body.
  • The receiving player must control the ball with one touch, ensuring he keeps it within the square.
  • He turns after controlling the ball and dribbles it to the top cone, then sprints to the second cone.
  • He leaves the ball at the second cone and sprints back to his control box, ready to receive a pass from the other server.

Why this works

This is a fast-paced move that combines instant control with the need to get the ball and the player on the move quickly.

Making your soccer player vary his turning direction once he has received the ball will shape his mindset so that he is always aware he may need to turn away from tackles coming in during a normal game.

This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.

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