How can I help my child develop better foot skills for soccer?

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Answered by: David, An Expert in the Soccer Basics Category
Every successful soccer player has learned at a young age to control the soccer ball with their feet. A player who can use their feet to manipulate the ball and keep it close can excel at every level of soccer. Developing better foot skills does not happen over night, it requires discipline, consistency and a detailed plan.

Young players seeking to improve their foot skills need to touch the ball with their feet as often as possible. The more a player touches the ball with their feet, the more comfortable they become using their feet. With that comfort comes a greater level of confidence and improved performances on the field. Developing a daily routine of specific ball control exercises is one generally accept method for increasing a young player's touches on the ball.

A simple method for improving foot skills is to create a routine which allows a player to touch the ball at least 2000 times every day. The following exercises are designed to enable players to rapidly touch the soccer ball while using their feet to carry out a variety of different moves.


Using every part of their body except their arms or hands, players attempt to hit the ball into the air as many times as possible without the ball hitting the ground or being caught. These touches are tremendous for developing a soft touch on the ball. Every time the ball is contacted counts as one touch. Depending on the ability of the player, 200-500 touches are a good goal for this exercise. Advanced players may attempt many more touches if they choose.


Standing straight up with the ball positioned between their feet, the player passes the ball back and forth between both feet. The player should stay in the same place, not moving forward or back. Knees should be slightly bent and the players back should be straight. 100-300 touches in this drill is a good target.


With the ball positioned slightly in front of the right foot, the player uses the top of his foot to push the ball forward and then immediately pulls it back using the sole of the same foot. After 50-100 repetitions of this drill, the player should switch feet and repeat the exercise.


While moving sideways, the player uses the sole of their foot to roll the ball along side them (have the player be careful not to kick the ball) After rolling the ball three times, the player uses the outside of their foot to stop the ball and begins moving the opposite direction using the other foot. Repeat this sequence 50 times.

Many other exercises can be used by players seeking to improve foot skills. These four foot drills enable players to benefit from a variety of repetition-based exercises. Players can vary the number of times they touch the ball in each exercise, or they can add or subtract exercises to personalize their routine.

The primary goal of this plan is to develop better foot skills through increasing the number of times a player touches the soccer ball with their feet. Whether they juggle, dribble or just pass the ball against the wall, players will improve the more they touch the ball.

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