The ability to control the ball and move past defenders creates scoring opportunities for your team. Setting aside ample practice time in your training sessions for the continual development of ball control skills will pay dividends as the season progresses. No matter what offensive system you are using, ball control will always be the key to success in that system.
In the video clip below Dan Crowley with FourFourTwo Performance in association with Coerver Coaching demonstrates a progression of ball control drills that teaches change of direction. The drills utilize a basic Pull-Push ball control skill. The series begins with simply working on the Push-Pull in one spot and gradually progressing to a more difficult task using the Pull-Push.
The YouTube video below has sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site (Some schools block access to YouTube)
The first drill is simply practicing the ball control skill called Pull Push. In this drill the athlete will simply make a V around a single cone executing the Pull-Push. To execute a pull-push the players should push the ball forward with his outside foot. Next he will reach across with his inside foot and place the sole of his foot on the ball and pull it back behind the cone. He will receive the ball with the inside of the same foot that he pulled back with. Now he will push forward with that foot. As before he will reach across with his inside foot and pull the ball back. This drill can be done for a set time or a set number of “V’s”.
Next he incorporates two passes and movement. The drill begins with the player standing at the end of a line of cones that are in a line moving away from him . Standing on one side of the line, the player will receive a pass from a coach that is positioned in front of. The players receives the pass with his inside foot and then executes a Pull-Push movement around the the first cone. As the player returns to the starting position he will pass to the coach and move forward before receiving a return pass. He now executes a Pull-Push around the second cone and returns a pass to the coach. The drill continues until he has executed a Pull-Push around each cone. The player will thin shuffle backwards through the cones in a zig-zag fashion and repeat the drill on the other side.
The third variation requires the players to do the same thing as in the second drill except now is must be looking at the coach as he makes his move. The coach will flash one of two different color cones at the player and the player must call out the color. This is a good addition to the drill as it trains the player to keep his eyes up and looking for teammates to advance the ball to.