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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Controlling the ball
How to improve your control

You always hear how important a good first touch is in getting the ball under control.

So, alongside passing, this is an area that will hugely improve your game if you can get it right.

The basics of control are the same whether you are controlling the ball with your feet, thigh, chest or head.

STEP ONE

Get in line with the flight of the ball quickly

Get into line with the flight of the ball as quickly as you can and decide how you are going to control the ball.

Work on practising your control with your feet, thigh, chest or head, as you can receive the ball at any height.

Trying to control a ball above waist height with your feet is not an easy skill, so why risk it when you can use your chest?

STEP TWO

Get a large area behind the ball

Present the area of your body that you want to control the ball with - your thigh for example.

Get as large an area behind the ball as you can.

If you are controlling the ball with your thigh then get the full face of it in line with the ball.

STEP THREE

Try and cushion the ball

As you make contact with the ball, relax the surface (thigh) area so that you can cushion the ball.

It will then hopefully drop to the ground and you can then pass the ball or shoot, depending on where you are.





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