A few days ago we showed how you might use the ball control drills to add variety to your passing workouts, and yesterday we showed how the ball control drills show up in 1v1 drills. As we finish up this 30 Day Challenge Series, we wanted to show a clip from the finishing portion of our Attacking Series to provide another example of how important the ball control drills are, and how they impact every aspect of the game. Today’s drill comes from the Attacking Program (from the Ball Control Foundations program) in the section on Level 2 finishing drills.
In this particular drill, we again want to focus on the speed, or change of pace, as the player performs the drill. If you notice, she attacks the first cone in a controlled manner…fast enough to make it feel game-like, but slow enough that she can do what she needs to do with the ball. As she approaches the cone, she performs a pullback to inside touch across the body, then quickly performs another inside touch to attack the space between the cones. This is where the real speed comes in. She controls her touch in a way that puts the ball far enough in front of her that she can sprint on to the ball, but not so far that it drifts into the goalkeeper. You can see this burst of speed in the video below. As she attacks the space, she has an aggressive forward body lean and runs through the ball as she strikes it. We don’t want to see a hesitation here (no stutter steps). We want a fast, but rhythmic attacking pattern with a powerful finish.
Start off with some of the pullback inside-inside “U” pattern touches, then make sure you have stretched your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads and groins before starting. Start off with some finishing strikes by just pushing the ball out in front of you in a diagonal angle and running onto the ball to finish. Then try a pullback “U” to diagonal attack to finish. Finally, as you are warmed up, begin attacking the cone to pullback inside-inside diagonal to finish as shown in the video. After 10-12 reps of the right leg, switch to the left leg. What other patterns can you think of? Try to mix things up a bit and find something that you can do at speed.
If you are looking for more drills like this, we have hundreds of drills in the Ball Control Foundations program and if you are looking for strength, power, speed and fitness programming, we have our entire program available in the Complete SoccerFIT Training Program – Player Manual.