POSITIVE 1st TOUCH
There are three qualities to a good 1st touch:
- Direction – the ball should be rolling (moving) in the direction you want to play
- Pace – how much strength you want behind your 1st touch, according to space available
- Playable – your 1st touch must be positive and on the ground, avoid bouncing the ball
We have seen many players with the right technique but the wrong understanding or recognition of a Positive 1st touch. We believe that if players understand the 3 qualities of a good 1st touch, it can help them improve their game and make better decision on the pitch.
Below is a game designed to improve the technique and the cognitive understanding/recognition of space, time and opponent. This game is called “three gates” and is usually played with two players but it can be turned into a competition with 3 players and be played by sets.
- Three Gates: 1st Touch
- Area 10x12 yards
- 6 cones: 2 red, 2 blue & 2 green
- Set up as shown
- Ball starts with one player (blue) who makes a pass and has to call a color gate (green), which is where the opponent (orange) has to take his 1st touch and try to make a successful pass back on his 2nd touch.
- Players only have 2 touches; if a 3rd touch is taken the point goes to the opponent
- The same color gate can be called, and the player receiving must play it back in one touch
- When a player forgets to call a color gate, the point goes to the opponent
- Players can challenge themselves with strong passes, they must be playable on the ground, if a pass is in the air or bouncing point goes for the opponent
- Three qualities of a 1st touch
- Body shape & Angle to receive
- Awareness of space
- Quick decision making - call a color quickly