It's more then trapping

The Basics

There are two times that a player will receive/control the ball. One, from his or her opponents and two from a team mate. We’ll focus on the later, the intentional.

The ball will arrive in one of two ways. On the ground or in the air. In youth soccer on the ground is preferable.

There are two methods for receiving/controlling the ball. Cushion or wedge control. The former contacts the ball directly. The later uses the ground as an aid.

Watch the video and see how these principles apply even at the top level.

The mechanics for receiving/controlling the ball

  1. Get into the line of flight of the ball. Move to it. Make an early decision and time your run to arrive at just the right moment.
  2. Choose the controlling surface. Make the decision early and avoid brain lock. It’s too late to choose when the ball arrives.
  3. Present the controlling surface to the ball. Show your choice to the ball.
  4. Relax and withdraw the controlling surface. Pretend you’re catching an egg. The better the players touch, the less they move the surface. It’s more a matter of timing then distance.
    1. For wedge control. Follow these four steps but receive the ball between the contolling surface and the ground. Usually after a bounce, while the ball is rising, or at the moment of impact.

How do you judge the quality of the receiving/controlling touch?

It set’s the ball up for the players next action. One touch and it’s done. This means the player must make their decision about what they want to do before the ball arrives. Ball control must be seen in the context of the subsequent action and not as an isolated objective for it’s own purpose.

Help the player on the ball 

When the receiver makes the passer’s job easier they make their own easier as well.

  1. Move into a space where the ball can see you. Imagine that the ball has eye’s.
    1. Correct distance. Not too far, not too close.
    2. Correct angle. Don’t get caught behind defenders. Stay available.
  2. Learn when to move ahead of the ball and when to stay behind it. It’s not always forward.

Receiving ground balls. US Youth Soccer. Takes you to YouTube.
Receiving ground balls-2. Takes you to YouTube.
Receiving and moving away from pressure. Anson Dorrance. Takes you to YouTube.
Training with Zidane - Ball Control. Takes you to YouTube.

 Passing and Receiving

It’s easy to combine passing and receiving/control into small technical games. By making the games competitive, through scoring - winning and losing - you can keep interest high. Compare Small Grid games, takes you to YouTube, where the players keep score to Line Passing where the feedback has to come from the coach. In the former, competition teaches the players, in the later it’s the coach, an outside source. Let the game be the teacher.