How do you stop losing possession of the ball?
Ever felt like every single time you get the ball, you're going to lose it? This is an awful feeling and can severely damage your self confidence on the pitch. You'll never make an impact in the game if you're too worried about losing the ball once you've got it. The only way players score goals or create chances is by taking risks with the ball - this is what you have to do! So how can you gain a more confident mindset on the ball? Below are my 3 tips:
1) Know what you want to do with the ball, before you receive it
This tip is massive, the biggest reason why players lose the ball is that they try to make the decision about what they want to do with it once they've got it. As you improve in the level you're playing at, you'll find you have less and less time on the ball. If you're never thinking about what you want to do with the ball before you call for the pass, then you'll find yourself having to make a decision under pressure from a defender every single time.
So, before you call for the pass make sure you know where your teammates are and where the space is. This will allow you to take your first touch in the direction you want to go. Practice lifting your head and become more aware of your surroundings. Once you do this, you'll be more direct with your intentions on the ball and find that your retention rate will increase dramatically.
2) Practice practice practice your first touch
The first touch is everything in football. It can dictate how much time you have on the ball and can make the difference between scoring and not scoring a goal. In regards to keeping possession, it's very obvious that if you can't get the ball under control then you're going to lose it straight away.
In your own time, practice your first touch more than any other skill. Over time, your confidence will increase and you're ball control will improve. When you're able to get the ball under control quickly, both your quick decision making and ball retention rates will improve.
3) Build your confidence by playing the simple option on 5 occasions first
This is an effective strategy that you can implement in training and in a game. All you have to do is spend the first 5 - 10 minutes focusing purely on just keeping possession. Don't take any major risks and build your confidence by playing the simple option. Play backwards, play the easy man in space and you will find that you become more comfortable on the ball.
Once you're confidence has grown and you have warmed yourself up in the game, then you can start to take more risks and aim to create chances for your team.
I hope these tips help and that you're able to keep the ball more effectively after reading this article. Please be sure to let me know in the comments if this has worked for you.
Thanks for reading,