VIDEO: How to improve ball control with Dan Crowley

Ready for some toe tapping? Begin your journey to perfect control with this ball mastery drill from Coerver Coaching and the Arsenal midfielder

DRILL ONE
How do I set up this drill?
Place two cones five yards apart with a football between them. Grab a partner.

How do I do this drill?
Stand over the ball, feet either side. Jog on the spot while knocking it from foot to foot with the inside of each boot. Keep the ball under control between the two cones.
 
When you’re comfortable doing this, repeat the toe taps but once you’ve touched the ball one time with each foot, use the sole of your boot to roll the ball across you. Take one more touch with each foot, roll the ball with your other sole, and continue the process. Alternate feet and stay within the cones.
 
How do I progress the drill?
While you’re doing this, have a partner move around in front of you, randomly flashing one or both of two coloured discs. You must look up and say which colour they are holding up each time. See how many toe taps and rolls you can do in 30 seconds, and try to improve your score. 
 
You can also do toe taps on the move – forwards, backwards and sideways – while staying within the cones.
 
What are the key coaching points?
Stay loose, with your knees slightly bent and your weight forwards so you’re on the balls of your feet. Use your arms for balance, keep your head up – you’ll have to when you’re identifying the coloured discs – and add speed to the movement only when you are regularly keeping the ball under control.
 
How will this drill help?
It develops two-footed technique, flexibility and balance. Having to identify the coloured discs gets you used to keeping your head up in possession – vital in a match situation.

More after the break

DRILL TWO
How do I set up this drill?
Place two cones five yards apart with a football between them. Grab a partner.
 
How do I do this drill?
Stand to one side of the ball, with the outside of your nearest foot resting against it. Roll the outside of the boot over the top of the ball, stopping it with the inside. Roll the ball back with the inside of your foot before stopping it with the outside, and continue that action side-to-side with your foot on the ball – not the ground – at all times, while hopping on your standing leg. Do this 10 times with each foot.
 
How do I progress the drill?
Use both feet alternately, switching feet every third inside/outside roll. As you do this, your team-mate moves around in front of you, randomly flashing one or both of two coloured discs. You must look up and verbally identify which he is holding up each time. See how many inside/outside rolls you can do in 30 seconds, and try to improve on your score.
 
What are the key coaching points?
Start slowly: it’s OK to perfect the mechanics first by letting your ball-rolling foot touch the ground. Only add the hopping and speed once you’re comfortable. Stay loose, knees slightly bent with your weight forwards so you’re on the balls of your feet. Keep your head up, work both feet equally and use your arms to maintain balance.
 
How will this drill help?
It’s great for your technique, helping you to control the ball well with either foot, and also assists in developing balance and co-ordination. The drill progression, with the coloured discs, challenges you to keep your head up with the ball at your feet.

DRILL THREE
How do I set up this drill?
Place two cones five yards apart with a football between them. Grab a partner.
 
How do I do this drill?
Have your partner stand five yards in front of you. Perform the toe tap sole roll drill from Part 1, staying within the two cones, and once you’ve done a roll with both feet, pass to your partner with whichever foot is on the ball. They pass it straight back to you, and you repeat the process.
 
Because you’ll be passing with whichever foot receives the ball from your partner, ensure they pass to your left and right foot alternately. That way, you work both feet equally.
 
How do I progress the drill?
As soon as you’ve passed the ball, sidestep quickly around one of the cones and get back in position in time to receive the pass. Alternate between the left and right cones. 
 
Done that? Now get your team-mate to call ‘right’ or ‘left’ to determine which cone you sidestep around.
 
Done that as well? Now have your partner flash one of two coloured discs, one colour meaning ‘left’, one meaning ‘right’, as you make the pass. Sidestep to the according cone and back in time to receive their return pass.
 
Oh, and to give you a fighting chance, make sure your team-mate doesn’t absolutely belt the pass at you...
 
What are the key coaching points?
Start slowly, worth both feet equally and stay loose, knees bent, weight forwards. Keep your head up so you can see what’s going on around you and pass accurately.
 
How will this drill help?
The drill improves your ability to control and pass the ball with both feet, a technical skill that many players don’t have. It also helps to develop quick feet, co-ordination and balance.

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