How to master the first touch

How is your First Touch?

Your very first touch (ball control) is quite simply the most important skill to master in Football. Why? Because it sets up your very next movement after you have first received the ball. It can either provide you with more space and time to execute on the ball, or it can put you in a world of trouble where you're likely to make a mistake.

If you master the first touch, you will find that Football becomes a much easier game that you can take more control of. Your decision making on the ball can be greatly improved when you have the confidence that you're going to be able to bring the ball under control, no matter what the situation is.

So, how do you improve your first touch? It takes hours and hours of training for many years before you can claim to have a 'good' first touch. To master the skill, this can take your entire career. The players with the best first touch are the players who have practiced it the most, it's as simple as that.

So what drills can you use to improve your first touch? I'll provide two below. A little tip, you'll want to find a solid flat wall and make it your best friend!

1) Wall Passing and Control

Pass a ball against a wall in a variety of ways for hours on end. This will allow you to both practice your passing and bringing the ball under control under countless situations. Mix up the way you hit the ball into the wall to create variance. This can also be done by performing wall volley juggling and keeping the ball in the air for as long as possible.

The goal with every single time you receive the ball, is to set up the next pass or volley into the wall.

2) Wall Passing at Speed

This is a similar drill which involves passing the ball into the wall. For this, stand further back from the wall and hit the ball into the wall a lot harder than you did in the previous drill. It should almost be a shot because you want to generate much more pace on the ball. After hitting the ball, follow it up and sprint towards the wall. On the rebound, bring the ball under control with your first touch.


Both of these drills will help you improve your first touch. Keep in mind that every time you receive a pass or even dribble with the ball, you're improving your overall ball control so make sure you spend as much time with a ball at your feet as possible. Again, the best players are the ones who have worked the hardest - make sure this is you!

Thanks for reading,

Chris Toovey