Ball Control – Week 4 Day 6 – Off the Pass

We use the Ball Control Series to gain comfort with the ball and then we start to blend these aspects into other areas of skill development. In today’s post we look at incorporating directional first touch with a move and simple reset. In this drill, Open Up to Cruyff to Reset, we want to simulate receiving a pass and opening up. In this situation you might not like what you see as you open up (feel pressure, nobody to pass to, etc.) so need to quickly change direction and play the ball back. Another situation may be that you wanted to take a shot off the change of direction, but the ball drifted a bit after the quick move. In this situation, a quick reset can allow you to gather yourself, get balanced and then be able to play a better ball, hit with more power, or perform another move to create space.

This is one of over 100 combinations will are inserting into the passing section of the Ball Control Foundations program which is available online. This program starts with the full progression of ball control drills (of which we have offered a small sample in the 30 day challenge exercises), plus full progressions of attacking, passing and partner drills with balance, speed and footwork drills that complement each area. This program started off with 20-30 drills, and has grown to over 400 drills over the past year. As we add new drills the price of the manual increases, but if you download it now, you will get all updates free of charge.

Below is a video of one of the wall passing combos in the passing section of this manual…

Training Program:

In today’s drill start off with some simple wall passing 1 touch or 2 touch warm up passes (2-3 minutes) working on moving towards the ball, backing away, opening up, etc. Then when you feel warmed up, Pass to open up to the right with an inside touch of the right foot. Move to the ball and perform a Cruyff turn with the right foot, then use a reset touch with the left foot to find balance. When balanced, play the ball back into the wall and repeat for 60 seconds. After a few sets with the right foot, try a few sets with the left foot. Then alternate as shown in the video above.

Key Coaching Points:

  1. Keep the ankle locked as you pass into the wall. Try to keep the ball on the ground (no bouncing) and with enough pace to give you a game like feel when doing the exercise.
  2. Be smooth with the Cruyff. Don’t rush this move, think about gliding back in the other direction. As you get better the speed will come naturally.
  3. Use the reset touch to gain balance. Reset and reposition the feet. Rushing the pass back to the wall will cause the next pass to be slightly off target or allow the ball to get in the air. This drill is about control, and rhythm. Try to look smooth and perfect in your touches.

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