Imagine yourself getting ready for the biggest soccer game of your life.
You lace up your gold and black Adidas cleats, you hear the sound of pouring rain outside, and your heart is beating out of your chest as the crowd is going wild. It’s going to be a messy game but because of your love and passion for the game you couldn’t care less.
All those drills working on your footwork and ball control after every practice are about to be tested in a ninety-minute game against the best team in the league.
Stoppage time comes. The game is tied 1-1 and your teammate just sent a beautiful ball to the corner flag where your ball handling skills are going to be tested right now.
You fake left, just like you have done so many times in practice. Dragging the ball right you see a sprinkle of fresh cut grass that flies into the air as you’re perfectly position cleat clips on by your opponent.
It’s only you and the goalie now. The shot goes off your foot hits the post and…
Good Players vs. Great Players
The difference between good players and great players is that great players control the ball in game pressure situations.
If you ask any team, they would tell you that controlling the ball for 90 minutes of a soccer match is crucial.
When you do control the ball, you prevent the other team from having opportunities to score goals.
In order to do this, each individual needs to know how to control the ball in big game situations.
(If you want to find out what happened to the ball after it hit the post then keep reading after the drills)
My Top 5 Soccer Ball Control Drills
Here is a workout using my top 5 drills.
I promise that if you use this workout over and over and over again you will see improvement and will be ready to beat the best teams in the league.
- Set up 5 cones in a horizontal line.
- Player 1 is weaving in and out of cones working on footwork and speed
- Player 2 is tossing the ball to player 1’s foot to volley after weaving through cones
- Player 2 can change what area of the body he wants player 1 to volley it from
- Inside of the foot or top of the foot
- Knee to top of the foot
- From chest to inside of the foot
- Set up 4 cones in a shape of a box
- Player in the middle of the box has a ball
- Player will make 10 touches on the ball using different moves (toe taps, side rolls, pitter patter, etc.) then run to a corner cone.
- After each corner cone the player comes back to the middle doing another 10 touches.
- 1 Player with two cones
- For the full drill check this video out:
(If you liked this video let me know in the comments below)
5 Cone Drill-
- 5 cones in the shape of a plus sign
- To begin, the player starts with the ball by the middle cone and begins to alternate feet while rolling the ball to the first cone
- He then rolls the ball back to the middle cone traveling backwards
- After he gets to the middle cone, the player will then roll the ball with his left foot to the right until he gets to the second cone and then back to the middle with his left foot.
- The player will then alternate feet by rolling the ball backwards to the third cone and then forwards back to the middle.
- Finally, the player will roll the ball using their right foot to the final cone and then back with their left foot to the middle cone.
- The player then will sprint with the ball forwards to end the drill.
- Juggle the ball by yourself or with a partner.
- Get at least 1000 touches on the ball
- Create a goal to reach 20+ touches before the ball hits the ground
Earlier in this article I wrote…
“It is you and the goalie. The shot goes off your foot hits the post and…”
Well, if you’re talking about my personal experience then…
The ball went into the net and the crowd went wild as they stormed the field… Or almost like that. 🙂
Have you ever experienced something like that?
And if you can hang out with me for just a short few more I’ll tell ya.
We were playing a rivalry game against a team that was always out for blood. Each of our teams hated losing to each other and was trying to get the upper hand the whole game.
We were tied 1-1 and Steven, one of our midfielders got taken down from behind. You could actually see dirt marks all over his shin and calf so we were like…
“Ya ref, you better make that call!”
The referee gave us a free kick near mid-field. It was a long way away from the goal and none of us ever imagined scoring from there, but we took it for sure, gosh who wouldn’t!
As the ref gave the go, Steven pinged a beautiful free kick floating the ball perfectly into the box. Cody, one of our tallest guys, standing 6 foot 3, jumped and headed the soccer ball with his bleached white head of hair plunging it toward the net.
I was trailing on the opposite side of the soccer field as him, in full white, my team uniform drenched in sweat with penetrating green grass stains from leaving it all on the field that day.
From this position I could actually see that the ball was clearly slicing hard left from the goal. As I turned away from my sheen, black, uniformed opponent, that was trying to mark me up and raced toward the ball I thought, just maybeeee…
Ya, just maybe I can get a toe on the ball and sure enough…
Sprinting full speed from behind, I lunged out with my black and gold Adidas cleat barely squeaking a touch of my toe on that white Nike soccer ball and poked it into the back of the net!
And YES, that is an actual picture of me scoring that goal!
My adrenaline was in full throat and looking back at Cody I just realized I took a perfect pass – more or less, even though I knew he was trying to score from there himself with a header – and actually scored my first goal of the year from a header pass.
Wow was I pumped!
Our screaming fans always knew the magnitude of this rivalry and probably would have stormed the field if the game was over, but to say the least, they were going wild as the stands were a rockin. We went up 2-1 with my first goal of the year. Wow!
We ended up winning that game by 4 points, but what a feeling it was to score a goal in one of the biggest games of my life, not to mention my first of the year.
Oh, did I mention it was my first goal of the year? 😉
Ya, I probably did.
All those penetrating grass stains and drills I kept working on were definitely worth it that day!
Loving, serving, and bringing value to others,
Coach Phil is the co-founder of SoccerSkillsU.com and a private training coach. He is passionate about coaching young people and helping them to step up their game on the field. His personalized training style helps the student of the game have a seemingly unfair advantage over their opponent. Learn more about Coach Phil on his About Me page or his CoachUp profile.
PS. If you have any experiences or stories (I love to hear your game stories, win or loose) about anything soccer please feel free to leave it below. Or ask me a question and I promise I will do my best to answer it!