Category Archives: First Touch

Warm Up Passing with Touch Circle

Showed my players the video on my phone and had them figure out the pattern. They did well with the pattern and I suspect that much of that was because they figured it out on their own. I paused to talk to another coach and when I came back they showed me how they learned to reverse the direction in the flow of the circle.

Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.



Juggling / Skill Contest

UNC Women’s Soccer Twitter feed posted this. Probably a bit above the skill level of my players, but a fun thing to try, perhaps.

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 7.12.44 AM


Simple Shooting Drill

Saw GE do this today. Liked the simplicity and the pace.

  • One on one with defender (at goal) serving to attacker.
  • Only rule is that attacker has to take a touch (no one touch shots).
  • Lines alternate serving (they’re obviously not going simultaneously).
  • Rotate counter clockwise when done.


Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.59.15 PM


Toca Football / Small Ball Training

Saw an ad for this company on a Soccer America email and checked it out. Interesting. Basically a jugs machine with a feeder with some added features (and I don’t say that to undercut its functionality but merely to provide context).

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 8.25.05 AM

Some added features of course are the feeder but also that it can be programmed and controlled via an iOS app (seems not Android; it specifically says iOS), in addition to a wide range of angles and speeds. For the full description, and some good graphics, of its capabilities, see here.

From a coaching standpoint, however, I’m probably (read: definitely) not going to foot the $8500 bill for one. But the site focuses on the advantages of small-ball-training. Eddie Lewis, the former USMNT player, founded the company after training with tennis balls in college to improve his first touch and buying a tennis ball feeder to make more efficient that training method.

Toca then seems to be not only selling a piece of equipment but also a training philosophy, that of small-ball-training to improve first touch. The Toca balls are smaller than a traditional ball.

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 8.29.17 AM

And Toca seems to market not only the trainer itself but also the idea of training centers, ‘staffed’ with a number of the trainers for use by teams or personal coaches.

An interesting both business model and approach to training, technology-independent.


First Touch Drill

[from Coerver]

The number of players on the outside of course can be adjusted; I might add in a weak foot round; and goalies can collect and distribute in the middle with a focus on good form.


Turn and Burn


ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

And here’s a still (easier to put into a practice plan). I think the one thing I tend to forget is that the defender stays in the middle and receives the next pass.

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 9.13.46 AM


Tom Goodman – Coaching Attack and Defense [SCCC 17] – Juggling Game

  • Players work in groups of 3
  • Coach calls out a number combination, e.g. 2-1
  • Server throws the ball up
  • First player has 2 touches to get it to 2nd player
  • Second player has 1 touch to get it back to server
  • Numbers can and should be varied
  • Should start with higher numbers to begin with and get progressively more difficult