5 Methods for Developing Your First-Touch
Your first-touch is everything, it's critical to your DNA as a player, it's going to determine how comfortable you are with the ball it your feet.
Every participant in the sport, at every level, be it the recreational player down the street, or the multimillionaire lacing them up at Old Trafford, must cultivate a quality first-touch if they want to get anywhere playing the beautiful game.
Here are 5 methods for developing a silly first-touch.
1. Utilize Coerver Ball Mastery
There is no better method available for developing your technical ability and first-touch than utilizing the Coerver method of ball mastery.
Coerver coaching teaches players to develop touch on the ball with all parts of their feet, emphasizes ankle flexibility, and manipulation of the ball to ensure that players can play in tight spaces under pressure.
Being able to get 500 juggles doesn't mean your destined to become the next Lionel Messi, but all soccer players must be able to juggle. Juggling helps players control the ball out of the air, strengthens both plant legs, and can help a player be better equipped to hit full and half-volleyed shots, clearances, or passes.
It is critical that as a player you dedicated time to being able to master enough control of the ball to be a solid juggler that is at ease keeping the ball in the air.
3. Practice Receiving and Turning
Learning to cushion the ball, rather than stop it, is a key aspect to being able to receive and turn under the intense game speed of a competitive match. Players have to be able to turn with the inside, outside, and sole of the foot if they want to have a buttery first-touch.
Developing a foundational skill set from Coerver ball mastery will help players learn to properly control the ball, and allow them to turn with moves like the Cruyff, twist-off, spin-turn, etc., so they can get facing forward with the ball at their feet and cause some real problems for opponents.
4. Be Forever Connected
There are tons of stories from the legend's of the game who depict a very close relationship between themselves and the ball. Get in the habit of throwing a ball in the car if you go for a picnic, to the beach, lake, or a park.
If an opportunity exists to get some touches, play a small-sided-game, or juggle with friends or family, or just practice moves and feints on your little brother or sister, stay connected to that hand-stiched ball you've got hiding away in your storage shed.
5. Stay Fit
It might seem a strange connection, fitness, and a quality first-touch, but if you're not fit, you won't have the stamina in the later stages of a practice or match to properly utilize the first-touch you've worked so hard on improving.
Fit players are players that can perform to the best of their abilities, and controlling the ball with a first-touch requires the legs and stamina to keep pounding the grass as you look to sweetly caress the ball and shift it from foot-to-foot under your spell.