Give Young Players More Touches On The Ball

The more we do something, the better and more experienced we become at doing it - especially when we've been guided to do it in the correct way.

The same goes for football. If we want to develop players who are good technically with the ball, we have to provide them with the opportunity to practice, guide them and give them time with the ball in training, as well as match situations.

Especially during their first two years of playing the game around the ages of four to seven.

The more touches on the ball that young players get, the quicker they will improve technically.

So, how do we give players more touches on the ball?

There are many activities you can use in training, warm-ups and match days that can give players plenty of time with a football. Here are a few examples:

  • A ball for each player's activities, running and dribbling with the ball games with and without opposition.
  • Lots of mini-games, ie 1v1 up to 3v3.
  • Games with overloads and underloads, ie 2v1, 3v1, 3v2, etc.
  • Small-sided games, and the smaller the numbers, the more touches players will get, ie 3v3 = 1 ball between 6 / 5v5 = one ball between 10.

Be creative with your sessions and encourage young players to dribble and stay on the ball. Click here to read more about when is the best time to focus on dribbling.

As part of our CPD course 'The New Coach: Managing Your Very First Team', we have created a Technical Guide for coaches at the U7-U8s level.

Click here to learn more and get the guide...

If you are a coach new to running your own team and would like to learn more about developing young players, creating a philosophy, match day management and dealing with parents, check out our course 'The New Coach: Managing Your Very First Team'...

More touches on the ball
The more touches on the ball that players get in training and matches, the quicker they will improve technically.
Resources
Daryl McMahon, boss of National League outfit Dagenham & Redbridge, joined MiMentor's Ross Embleton and James Baker to talk about his thoughts and experiences on his journey into coaching in the professional game

The former West Ham United and Stevenage midfielder moved into management with Ebbsfleet in 2014, before a spell in charge at Macclesfield.

In 2020, Daryl took the helm at the Daggers and this season steered them to an eighth-place finish.
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