We received a question from a young player in Birmingham, England who asked:

“I have a small garden which is about 3m square, what kind of practice would you recommend to work on and improve my ball mastery?” 

Here is one to get you started that you could even do in your bedroom or front room! All you need is a 3 metre straight line space.

This ball mastery challenge may only need a small space, but the outcomes are Huge!!! This practice will help you improve your dynamic movement, first touch, control and your weak side. You can also use it to get soccer fitness outcomes if you like because trust me, it’s a proper work out.

This challenge is easy to follow and comes in 4 different stages. Master each stage first and finally, in part 4 try and put them altogether!
The challenge is to try and remain on the line, working side to side. If it’s too easy then you’re not working fast/hard enough. Remember, that to really improve ourselves we must be pushing ourselves to the limit, this means that you should be working at a pace and intensity where you’re almost or are losing control of the ball.

  • Stage 1: Inside outside on a straight line. Make sure your toes are pointed down, try  and get a rhythm going
  • Stage 2: Outside Roll, Touch the ball with the outside of your foot, again with your toes pointed down. Then roll the ball inside and right across your body, continue straight away on the other side.
  • Stage 3: Outside Double Touch. Again start with an outside touch and then roll the ball behind your standing foot and immediately with the inside of the same foot touch it down the line. Remember, this is about shifting your body weight as quick as possible, stay light on your feet!
  • Stage 4: Put them altogether! Here is the real challenge, can you put them altogether at speed? Try and do 2 sets on each side if you can. Can you stay in control and stay on the line? Push yourself right to the limit! Master the ball master the game

Try working for 30 seconds for each interval and then try 2 minutes of juggles in between! You will see improvements quickly which you can take into your team training and matches

First Touch
Ball Striking
Running with the ball
Quick Feet
Useful Equipment
  • Cones