Grassroots Coaching

The logical progressive order of coaching ball control

Ball control is one of the basic techniques and skills of football. It is important that you coach your players to understand that the technique for ball control is like a dance, there is a logical progression to the key coaching factors. Once you have worked with the players to develop and improve these key logical coaching factors, then when something goes wrong with a players ball control technique, both you the coach and the player can easily identify which part of the technique of ball control has gone wrong and work on improving it.

So, for example, instead of shouting “come on Johnny, control the ball better” You will be able to identify the specific technical problem that has let Johnny down. Perhaps he hasn’t been on his toes and hasn’t moved his feet to get in the line of the ball and just stuck a leg out and the ball has bounced off him. You, the coach will now be able to identify that problem and help Johnny improve that specific problem with extra training.

We have put together the video to give you a better idea of how the logical progressive order of coaching ball control looks like in game situations

The logical progressive order of coaching ball control

  1. Be on the toes and alert. Move to get in the line of the ball
  2. Assess the pace and flight of the ball
  3. Select the appropriate control surface –foot, thigh, chest etc
  4. Upon contact with the selected control surface, relax and cushion the ball slightly away from the body and out of the feet
  5. Try and select the biggest and safest control surface – big side foot is better than the front of the foot
  6. With the ball controlled out of the feet, player should get their head up assess what is around them and decide on their next action, pass, dribble shoot etc
  7. Good technique and execution of the next action


  1. Control the ball to where there is the most space
  2. Control the ball for another player – 1 touch
  3. Introduce opposition to challenge the player controlling the ball – control the ball away from the defender
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Become Better Players FA Level 2