The Art of Ball Control: A Soccer Coach’s Guide for Youth Players and Their Parents



The Art of Ball Control: A Soccer Coach's Guide for Youth Players and Their Parents

In the world of soccer, mastery over the soccer ball is what sets apart the good players from the great ones. A professional soccer coach dedicated to nurturing youth talent, emphasizes the critical importance of soccer ball control, dribbling, and trapping skills. These are not just techniques; they are the foundation upon which the game is built, especially in high-pressure situations. The better you control, the better you will perform when it counts.

Understanding Ball Control

Soccer Ball control is the ability to manage the ball effectively under various conditions during a game. This means being adept at receiving passes that are on the ground, bouncing unpredictably, or coming through the air. To excel in soccer, players must be versatile and capable of controlling the ball with their feet, thighs, chest, and head. Every part of the body becomes an essential tool in manipulating the ball, directing it where it needs to go while shielding it from opponents.

The Significance of Dribbling and Trapping

Dribbling and trapping are fundamental soccer ball control skills that contribute significantly. Dribbling allows players to move the ball across the field with precision, navigating through opponents’ defenses. Trapping, on the other hand, is crucial for receiving the ball in a way that immediately brings it under control, regardless of the ball’s speed or trajectory. These skills are the first steps toward soccer ball mastery and are vital for any player aiming to excel in soccer.

Why Focus on These Techniques?

Young players rush past these basic skills in favor of more flashy techniques like advanced passing and shooting. However, without a solid foundation in ball control, these advanced soccer skills are not as effective in game situations. It’s like building a house on unstable ground. Thus, the coaching approach emphasizes the importance of these foundational skills across all youth age groups.

The Path to Mastery

Mastering ball control and the associated skills is not an overnight process. It requires time, repetition, and consistent effort. Practicing and mastering soccer ball control drills for youth soccer players requires dedicating a significant portion of practice time and focusing on these basic but essential skills. It involves understanding the mechanics of each movement, practicing them until they become second nature, and then applying them in soccer ball control game situations.

A Call to Action for Parents and Players

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s development in soccer. Encouraging practice outside of team sessions, providing constructive feedback, and celebrating efforts in mastering these soccer ball control skills are all part of nurturing a child’s soccer journey.

For players, the message is to embrace the process. Understand that each soccer ball control drill, each repetition, is a step toward becoming the player you aspire to be. Soccer is a game of finesse and skill, and by focusing on the fundamental skills of ball control, you’re building a strong foundation for future success.


As we focus on ball control, dribbling, and trapping with all youth age groups, we’re not just teaching soccer skills; we’re instilling a mindset. A mindset that recognizes the value of mastery over the basics, the importance of consistent effort, and the satisfaction of seeing that effort translate into prowess on the field. Let us commit to this journey together, knowing that the path to excellence in soccer starts with the ball at your feet.


How do you control a soccer ball while running?

To control the soccer ball while running, use your feet, thighs, chest, or head to keep the ball close. It’s about guiding the ball smoothly as you move.

How do you control the ball like Messi?

Controlling the ball like Messi involves mastering dribbling and trapping. Practice changing speed and direction swiftly while keeping the ball close.

How do you control the ball more in soccer?

Increase ball control in soccer by practicing receiving passes with different body parts and under various conditions, like on the ground or through the air.

What are soccer ball control drills for youth?

Youth soccer ball control drills include practicing with all parts of the body to receive, direct, and shield the ball, focusing on repetition and consistent effort.

What are soccer ball control drills for beginners?

For beginners, start with basic drills that focus on dribbling and trapping to get comfortable bringing the ball under control from different speeds and directions.

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