Mastery – You Can DO It….
With A Little Practice
lesson one of our Six Steps To Success Program.
Today we focus on the key foundational skill of
Ball Mastery. Nothing good in soccer happens without
the ball so developing the touch and coordination
to keep it and to shoot, pass or dribble effectively
is a critical skill for every soccer player.
Mastery comes from work with the ball. Work to the
point where it feels comfortable, like second nature,
All great players are Ball Masters and the best
like Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Zidane, Robinho
and Ronaldo are instinctive. They don’t think
about Ball Mastery …they do it by second nature,
by habit. Habits are routines we perform with our
subconscious mind. The subconscious mind takes over
whenever functions become so routine that we no
longer have to think about them.
Many actions we do
each day are habits…opening doors, reading
the morning newspaper, brushing our teeth…we
don’t think about them we do them. They became
habits because we do them so often. This constant
repetition is what we need to develop good Ball
We are going
to show you some Ball Mastery drills we find beneficial.
Watch the video and read our pointers on how to
perform them best. Talk to your team about the benefits
of good habits. Relate to them how the great players
develop their instinctive play by practicing good
habits. How by adding their own variations and setting
goals and keeping their own scorecards it can be
inspiring and fun and make a huge difference in
So lets get into it and watch the first video.
the video closely to see the correct form.
The text below should help you with
the first two drills we cover in the video. The
last four drills are very basic…but very important…these
are the drills players can be practicing at home…
in their yard, in their room…in the basement…
just get them playing with the ball.
Video Drill 6
A 12- by 12- yard area.
Four groups of up to four players positioned as
The first player in each group has a ball.
The players with a ball dribble to
the center of the square cutting the ball tightly
across their bodies with the inside and outside
of the same foot.
At the center they cut the ball to
their right, pass to the first player in the next
group and sprint to join the end of that group.
The receiver can toe tap the ball between his feet
until the coach signals the next players to start.
Make sure players cut the ball across
their bodies - not too far in front.
Have them make as many quick, tight
cuts as possible without losing control.
Tell them to keep their head up as
much as possible.
Suggest that players use their “weak”
foot as well.
This format can be used for any of
the ball mastery exercises.
Video Drill 7
Two adjacent 10- by 20- yards lanes.
Two groups of up to six players at
opposite end of the adjacent lanes.
The first player in each group has
Players tap the ball forward with
the outside of the foot as often as they can to
the midpoint of their lane where they pass to the
first player in the opposite group and sprint to
join end of that group.
The receiving players repeat the action
in the opposite direction.
Remind players to practice with both
feet and to look up before they pass. Well we know
if you put these Ball Mastery skills to work you
and your team.