Have you ever wondered how to improve your close control and touch and what it would be like to have complete ball control in football and be able to play like Messie or Ronaldo?
In this article I will show you a few tips and look at how to improve your close control and touch with the football.
Well the good news is many years ago when a Mr Messi & a Mr Ronaldo fell in love with football, they too had to learn to control a football.
A basic ball skill that top players make look easy but unless you learn how to do this, it can make the game a lot harder than it should be for yourself.
You should always make this a priority when practicing football skills, remember if you are in control of the ball you will have more time to make the pass.
Ever heard this saying in football “the top players look like they have more time on the ball”.
The simple answer to this saying is they have the ball instantly under their control, this gives the impression that the have more time on the ball.
He is a question for you? Could you make it look easy as well?
Here are some top tips to get that ball under your spell and help you feel like you have more time on the ball.
Cast the ball under you magic spell!
The first important piece of advice to all players looking to improve ball skills does not even involve the ball.
This is a must at all times for you if you want the ball to be under your magic spell.
keep your eye on the ball. Yes watching it at all means that you have more chance of controlling it when the ball gets passed into you. Players seem to forget this basic and wonder why the ball gets away from you.
By keeping your eyes open and staying alert your close ball control will improve.
You must look at ways of improving your focus and concentration.
Tip : In your spare time try this. Learn to juggle 3 balls for 5 mineuts without dropping them . Why do this?
This will prove difficult at first for you but by practicing you juggling skills, your focus, attention and concentration will become very sharp. You will then find watching just one big football becomes much easier and your eye to ball skills will improve dramatically.
It is so much better to use two feet than one!
If you are going to start practicing to improve skills always start by doing it right and that means using both feet in football.
When you receive a pass and the ball is moving towards you, this forward momentum means that if you try to stop the ball with your foot, it will push your foot back slightly.
Use this motion to help you.
You should let the ball cushion into your foot let it move slightly back, not much, about and inch or two.
This will stop the ball dead in front of you. If you push your foot at the ball it will fly off too fast and you would have lost control of the ball.
If you just let the ball hit you then the ball is in control not you.
Practice this :
Find a friend or a wall if no one is about, and start knocking the ball at your friend or target.
Use the left foot then the right foot.
When the ball comes back towards you, start seeing if you can use the forward motion of the ball coming towards you, to improve your first touch by letting it cushion into you foot.
Your aim is to be able to stop the ball with your first touch right in front of you.
When you can do this every time with either foot. Then you know that your control is becoming first class.
Dribbling with the ball while running!
This skill uses all the best things about football. The ball stuck to your foot and freedom of running with it.
The key elements here are using the front of your foot, from your big toe to the little one, and your head should be slightly raised so you are looking up and aware of what’s around you but also able keep a keen eye on the where the ball is, stuck to the front of your foot.
If you find an open field start with a gentle jog. Have the ball slightly in front of you at your feet.
Try lifting your head as you go and keeping the ball just in front of yourself. When you have gone about 100 metres, turn around and jog back using the other foot doing the same thing.
Do this as many times as you like. More practice never hurt anyone. You will be improving every time you do it.
The aim here is to get comfortable with the ball at your feet. This will allow you to start running faster and faster as you keep doing the same thing.
The end aim of this exercise is to be sprinting up and down so that you cannot even notice the ball is at your feet.
Controlling the ball with a cushioned header!
There are many way parts of the body to control a football with, not your hand, unless you are the goalkeeper.
The cushioned header is always a favourite of mine.
What you will be doing here is taking the pace off the ball as it comes of your head to gently run it into the path of your teammate
Sounds simple right!
The ball has a forward motion when it is heading towards you. Remember this and when it his your head, let your neck muscles relax slight in towards your shoulders.
Try to use your forehead. This gives the ball a bigger target to hit, which means more control for you.
Try this for an exercise.
Set up a target anywhere around you. A cheap option is to use a pair of socks as this works just as well and you can move this around easily enough, to different areas.
Find yourself an open area.
Throw the football up into the air as high as you like. Get yourself underneath it and use those neck muscles, to cushion the header down towards that target. This will prove difficult at first, the ball will fly off faster than you want it to and probably way of the target.
The aim is to control the downward header gently and slowly.
Try to hit the target no matter where you place it.
The words you want to hear ” great first touch”
To have an easy looking first touch takes time and a lot of practice.
Just remember all footballers start from the same place, the love of the game, a football, and the will to be a better player.
The key elements for you to remember is to always keep your eye on the ball. Watch it till you have it under your control.
Use the forward motion of the ball to help you think about how fast or slow you need to move your foot or other part of the body towards the ball so that you are in control and no the ball.
Keep your eyes open so you can see where you are aiming at.
Keep practicing and have fun with it. As long as you are enjoying learning and finding ways to get better close control for yourself, then your game will improve.
This is football it is meant to be fun so enjoy. Good luck and remember this famous saying ” the harder I practice the luckier I get”.
I would love to hear from you about this topic so please contact me with any feedback or questions, or thoughts.
Please leave me a comment below.