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Sep21

Written by:admin
9/21/2009 

One of the earliest things in soccer coaching with young players is to get them to control the ball without their arms. It's frustrating for young players- because they are so small, any bounce will take the ball up towards their bodies where they just want to put a hand on top of the ball to keep it down.
 

Chest Drills for Young Soccer Players by Zdenka Tottova

One of the earliest things in soccer coaching with young players is to get them to control the ball without their arms. It's frustrating for young players- because they are so small, any bounce will take the ball up towards their bodies where they just want to put a hand on top of the ball to keep it down.

Your players should gradually become more at ease with dealing with balls at whatever height they arrive - therefore they must be able to control a ball which is too high for the thighs but too low for the head.

Players should to be coached in moving into the line of the flight of the ball, arching the back making the chest into a platform and removing the pace off the ball by keeping relaxed. This drill is a perfect way for the players to learn to control the ball with their chest.
  • First player throws the ball underarm at chest height to second player standing opposite.
  • Second player controls the ball with their chest then catches the ball.
  • Second player throws the ball at chest height to the first player who chests the ball and catches it.
  • Repeat the practice.
Once you feel like your players have learned the basics, you can enhance the session so that rather than catch the ball, the receiving player uses the top of their foot to bring the ball under control with one touch before it bounces. The player then passes the ball back.    

The next stage of the drill involves the receiving player chesting the ball to the left or right. To deflect the ball to one side they must turn the upper body on contact.
Before the ball bounces, the receiving player uses the top of their foot (use the right if turning right) to control and guide the ball in their chosen direction, ready to dribble. You need to make sure that players practice turning in both directions.

To put this into a game situation you can try a game with 4 players versus 4 players. A target player throws the ball to one of the attackers who ideally controls the ball on the chest guiding it into space and away from pressure before passing it to a team mate. The ball must be played to a team mate before the attacking team can pass the ball back to any of the target players. You can award points to the team for every successful chest control and pass, and for every time a defender tackles or wins the ball.

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