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First Touch Out of the Air [David Clarke]

23 Aug

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  • First touch from the air by David Clarke
  • I was watching a game at the weekend and one of the players who was barely seven years old could control the ball and showboat his way up the pitch. He could do things with the ball that most 15 year olds struggle to do.
  • It is a great skill to be able to control a ball in the air first time and continue running. First touch in this instance to kill the flight of the ball is something that must be constantly practised.
  • It also means players will be more equipped to play first-time volleys from balls played in the air which can catch the opposition off their guard. So the benefits to the individual and the team are huge.
  • I use this session to help players practise controlling balls in the air so they are not waiting for the ball to bounce giving the opposition players time to close them down.
  • Start with a ball between two players throw it back and forth controlling it with different parts of their bodies by varying the height they throw to each other.
  • How to play it
  • You want to see players taking the ball early without waiting for it to bounce.
  • Player A throws or kicks the ball from their hands in the air to player B.
  • Player B controls and passes to C who starts in a corner and runs to the opposite corner to receive the ball.
  • Player C then controls the ball and picks it up so they can pass a high ball back to B.
  • Player B controls the ball and passes to the left corner for A to run on to, and so on.
  • When they have done this for six passes (three to A and three to C) A swaps places with B, B with C and C with A.
  • How to advance it
  • In this game the player controls the ball with the added pressure of a defender. They must beat the defender and try to score in the small goal.
  • Player A throws or kicks from their hands to player B.
  • As A kicks the ball, player C starts running to pressure B.
  • Player B must control and beat C and score in the goal.
  • The exercise restarts with A once the ball has gone in the goal or out of play.
  • Change the position of each player after six passes.
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