Skip to main content

Jonjo Shelvey: Improve your first touch

My first touch always lets me down. Do you have any advice for how I can improve it?
Gary Simpson, via email

Jonjo Shevley says:

“Take a ball, stand in the garden, kick it as high as you can and try and control it without letting it bounce. That always helped me.

When I was a little kid my dad used to throw the ball up as high as possible and I would try and bring it down, with my left foot and then my right foot.

Try to keep your eye on the ball as it drops down, but don’t get nervous and tense up otherwise it could fly anywhere. Relax, follow its flight on to your foot and try to stop it dead.

When you look at the top players, your Zidanes and your Kakas, their touch is delicate – they caress the ball. You have to try and copy that.

If you want to be the best, you have to be dedicated to practise. I came from a working class background and grew up on a council estate, so I was always out on the street practicing.

I’d play out the front of the house, kicking the ball against the wall, left foot, right foot, over and over again. If you keep working on it, working on it, working on it, eventually it will come.”

Shelvey wears the adidas adiPower Predator. Visit for more information.