Having a quality first touch is one of the most important skills you can have in soccer. It separates average players from the elite and can help take your game to the next level. 

In this post, I’m going to show you 4 easy soccer drills you can use to improve your first touch.

The Setup

What you will need:

Soccer Ball
2 Cones or Markers

All the exercises for today will have the same setup. Start by placing 2 cones about 4 yards from your wall or rebounder. The cones should be 2 yards wide forming a small gate. We will be using this as a passing gate throughout the session. If you do not have cones you use any small objects as a replacement.

The Drills

Drill 1

2-Touch: Inside Foot

The first exercise is a simple 2 touch warmup. Begin by playing the ball off the wall and collect it using the inside of your foot. Use your first touch to collect the ball and your second touch to play it back off the wall. 

You can control and pass with the same foot or use one foot to control and the opposite foot to pass. This exercise will help get you in a comfortable rhythm and prepare you for our next drills.

Quick Tips

Stay on your toes, bouncing in place so you can adjust and react to the ball as it arrives
Make sure to cushion and take pace off the ball as you receive it
Lock your ankle when you are passing and receiving for better technique

Drill 2

2-Touch: Directional Inside

For our next drill, we will use the skills we learned in exercise 1 and will include a directional touch. Play the ball off the wall as before, but now use the inside of your foot to take a touch left or right, away from pressure. Once you take your touch past the cone, turn around and dribble back to your starting spot. 

Repeat the exercise in the opposite direction. Make sure to stay on your toes for balance, and watch the weight of your touch so it doesn’t get too far away from your body.

Quick Tips

Stay on your toes, bouncing in place so you can adjust and react as the ball arrives
Measure the "weight" of your touch to keep the ball close to your body
Redirect and move with the ball quickly in the direction of your touch

Drill 3

2-Touch: Hip Openers

For exercise 3, as you play the ball off the wall and it rebounds back to you, let it travel slightly past your body then open your hips and use the inside of your foot to push the ball left or right. Quickly turn (using any move you like) and dribble back to the center of the cones and begin again. Repeat this pattern in both directions for about 2-3 minutes.

Quick Tips

Keep your toe up and ankle locked as you receive the ball
Open your hips and lean in the direction of your first touch
Measure the "weight" of your touch to keep the ball close to your body

Drill 4

2-Touch: Outside Directional

With exercise 4 we will be using the same pattern as before, but now we will use the outside of the foot to collect the ball. As the ball approaches, keep your knees bent, point your toe to the ground, and push the ball into the open space. Move with your first touch and accelerate past the cone. 

This is perfect for creating separation and escaping from defenders. Use the outside of both feet and continue the pattern for 2-3 minutes.

Quick Tips

Stay on your toes, bouncing in place so you can adjust and react as the ball arrives
Keep you knees bent and accelerate quickly with your first step as you change direction
Point your toe down and lock your ankle to receive the ball

Bonus Drill

2-Touch: Freestyle

As a bonus, Ive included 1 last drill. I like to call this a “freestyle” because you will incorporate each of the other skills we worked on earlier. Use the inside and outside of the foot, open your hips, and dribble in any direction you like with your first touch. 

To make this game-like, try to be as random as possible and using each of the skills you practiced. As you get confident, pick up the pace and use harder passes off the wall to test your first touch technique.

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