10 Soccer Drills For Receiving And Turning for a Dynamic midfield

The most important touch in soccer is your first touch, there are numerous ways players can receive and turn with the ball. A good first touch can give the attacking player a huge advantage when going forward, creating opportunities that couldn’t be possible If they had a poor first touch. These soccer drills for receiving and turning will help your players dictate how your team attacks and set the tempo in any game.

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Learning how to receive and turn with the ball is a fundamental skill that all soccer players should have, especially those who play in central positions such as CM’s, CAM’s, and ST’s.

Players who have the awareness to receive the ball on a half-turn can have an enormous impact on the game.

Professional soccer players make this look incredibly easy but there are actually a lot of considerations they must make before receiving and turning with the ball.

If you want to speed up the development of your players the best way for you to do this is to improve your knowledge as a coach. Here are some soccer coaching books I would recommend.

Professional soccer is constantly checking their shoulders.

By doing this they always paint a picture of what is going on around them and know exactly what they’re going to do with the ball once they receive it.

They then create space for themselves to check-in and receive the pass.

Their first movement will always be away from the space they want to receive the ball.

The second movement will be towards the space they want to receive the ball.

When they check into receiving the ball they are always in a side-on position (half turn).

Being in a side-on position enables the players to see where the ball is coming from and to see everything in front of them.

This means that players are able to make the best possible decision while on the ball.

Finally Professional players will always make sure their first touch is towards space and away from the defenders.

Below are 10 soccer drills for receiving and turning that can help you players mirror what the pro’s do.

10 Receiving and Turning Soccer Drills

Make sure you have all the soccer coaching equipment you need for the drills before starting.

1. Squares in an area Receiving Soccer drill

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of the soccer drill is to ensure that players are taking their touch away from the pressure and towards the space

Set up:

  • 10 x 15 yard area
  • 5 squares inside the area (4 in the corners 1 in the middle)
  • 1 soccer ball per 2 players
  • 10 players

Instructions:

Set up your area with your 5 squares in the corners and one in the middle. Place a player in each of the squares with the other players with a soccer ball in the larger area.

The player with the soccer ball will pass the ball to the player in the square, the player in the square will then take a touch outside of the square out of a different side to where they received the ball.

As the player has taken their touch outside the square the player who played the original pass will take their place in the square.

Players in a square must check out to a cone and then check in to receive the ball.

With this drill, you can encourage players to try different touches such as using the inside of the foot, outside of the foot, or even Cruyff turns.

Coaching points:

  • The checking in and out should be quick
  • First touch should be out of your feet and towards the space
  • Accelerate out of the square

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Why should you check in and out quickly? Who are you trying to get away from?
  • What type of first touch should you take out of the square?
  • Why should you accelerate out the of the square?

Progressions:

As a progression instead of the player passing the ball and passively taking the place of the player in the square. The player playing the pass will now become an active defender and apply pressure to the player.

They will then get 3 seconds to try and win the ball back, if they do they will get a point and take their place in the square.

The player with the most points is the winner.

2. Receiving and turning soccer drill with your back to goal

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to encourage players to check their shoulders and to receive the ball on a half-turn.

There are 2 goals that the attacker can score in to increase the decisions the attacker has to make.

Set up:

  • 7x7 yard area
  • 2 goals
  • 3 players (1 feeder, 1 Attacker, 1 defender)
  • 5 soccer balls

Instructions:

Create your area and place 2 goals in the corners, these will be where the attacker will be trying to score.

The feeder always starts with the ball and being to drills by passing to the attacker. As soon as the ball is played to the attacker the defender can begin to pressure.

As soon as the phase of play is over the attacker can go to receive a new ball as quickly as possible.

A phase of play comes to an end when either the attacker scores a goal (3 points), the ball goes out of bounds or if the defender is able to steal the ball back and pass it back to the feeder (1 point).

Each player will have 5 attempts when attacking and at the end of the 5 passes, players will swap roles.

Coaching points:

  • Check in then check out to try to lose the defender to give you time to receive the ball and turn with it
  • Check your shoulder before you receive the ball
  • Receive the ball in a side on position

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you create space for yourself?
  • What should you do before you receive the ball?
  • What should your body position be like when receiving the ball?

3. Receiving and turning without pressure

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this drill it helps players get lots of repetition of checking out and in to receive the ball and try different types of touches they can take.

Set up:

  • 7 x 10 yard area
  • 4 players
  • 2 soccer balls
  • 1 large cone (Soccer Mannequin would be ideal)

Instructions:

Set up your area with your large cone or soccer mannequin in the middle. There will be 2 players on the inside without a soccer ball and 2 players on the outside with a soccer ball standing opposite 7 yards lines.

The players in the middle must receive the ball from one player on the outside and pass to the other player on the opposite side.

Players must check-in starting from the mannequin, look to receive the ball on the half-turn then play a pass to the other player.

Encourage them to communicate with the player receiving the pass so they know when and where to pass it.

Make sure that players in the middle are taking their touch in the same direction (for example both going to the right). This ensures players do not turn into each other.

Alternate taking touches to the left side as well.

rotate players on the outside every 5 minutes.

Coaching points:

  • Communicate with your team so they know where and where to pass it to you
  • Quick check in and out off the cone to create space for yourself
  • Check your shoulder so know what is going on behind you.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can you do so you receive a good pass?
  • How can you create space for yourself?
  • How do you know what is going around you?

4. Passing and receiving soccer for first touch

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to get repetition of receiving the ball under pressure and taking your first touch away from the defender.

Set up:

  • 7x10 yard area
  • 1 soccer ball per group of 3 players

Instructions:

Set up your area with 2 players on one 7 yard side with a soccer ball with the other player on the opposite 7-yard side.

The player with the ball will pass the ball to the player on the opposite side and follow their pass, this will cut off the angle of the player receiving the pass so they must take a touch out of their feet to the player the pass back to the other player.

Players should check to a cone to help create a better angle to receive the pass.

Players can vary the different types of touches they can take, either using the inside or outside of their foot.

Coaching points:

  • Check out to a cone when looking to receive the pass, this makes it easier for player playing the pass
  • First touch should be out of your feet, so with your second touch you can play the pass
  • First touch should be towards the space and away from the pressure

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you make it easier to receive a pass from your team mate?
  • What are the benefits of having a touch out of your feet?
  • Where should your first touch take you?

Progression:

As a progression instead of the player passively following their pass, they have 5 seconds to try and win the ball or block the pass. If they manage this they will get 1 point.

The rotation will still remain the same.

5. 1v1 soccer drill to receive a pass on an angle

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this drill is to try and turn and receive the ball under pressure from a defender so you are in a position to play forward.

Set up:

  • 7x7 yard area
  • 4 players (2 feeders, 1 attacker, 1 defender)
  • 4 soccer balls
  • 2 goals

Instructions:

Set up your area and goals opposite each other and place the 2 feeders in the corners of the side that the attacker will be defending.

This will create a 1v1 in the middle, the attacker will get to choose which player which feeder they get to receive the ball off of.

The attacker must check-in and out with quick movements to try and lose the defender before receiving the ball.

If the attacker scores a goal it will be worth 3 points, if the defender scores it will be worth 1 point.

After 6 attempts rotate the players on the inside and outside.

After 3 rotations everyone should have had a chance to be the attacker and defender from both pairs.

Coaching points:

  • Quick movements to get away from the defender
  • Check your shoulder as often as possible so you know where the defender it
  • First touch should be away from the defender and into space

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you lose the defender to yourself time to turn?
  • What can you do so you know where the defender is?
  • Where should you first touch take you?

6. 1v1 receiving and turning soccer drill square

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this drill is to try and turn and receive the ball under pressure from a defender so you are in a position to play forward.

Set up:

  • 7x7 yard area
  • 4 players
  • 2 balls per 4 players
  • 2 goals

Instructions:

Set up your area and place 2 players on opposite sides with a soccer ball each and 2 goals opposite each other on the free sides.

This will leave 2 players in the middle, one attacker and one defender.

The attacker can choose which player they receive the ball from, if they receive it from one player they must try to play a pass to the opposite player.

If they do this successfully they will get 3 points.

The attacker is able to reset, so if they receive a pass and cannot go forward they can pass it back to the outside player.

The attacker can then choose who they want to receive the ball off again.

If the defender wins the ball and is able to score in either of the 2 goals then they will get 1 point.

Rotate players every 5 minutes.

Coaching points:

  • Quickly check out then in to receive the ball. First movement is away from space the second movement is back towards the space
  • Check your shoulder as frequently as possible to see where the defender is
  • Receive the ball on the half turn

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you create space for yourself to receive the ball and turn?
  • How do you know where the defender is and whether you can turn?
  • What position should you try to receive the ball in?

7. 2v2 turning and receiving square with a magic player

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this still is to help players find gaps to receive the ball so that they can turn and play forward.

As the team in possession has the number advantage this should give the possession team more success at trying to find gaps between the defenders to receive the ball.

Set up:

  • 7x10 yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 7 Players (2 target players, 4 possession players, 1 magic player)

Instructions:

Set up your area and place your target players opposite each other on the 7-yard lines.

These players will be neutral players and will keep possession for whichever team has passed them the ball.

Divide your 5 players in the middle into 2 teams of 2 with 1 player acting as the neutral player.

Similar to the target players on the outside the neutral player will be on the same team as the team that has possession of the ball.

Every time a team works the ball from one target player to another that will count as 1 point. The team with the most points will be the winner.

Rotate the players around in the middle every 5 minutes.

Coaching points:

  • If you are the neutral player in the middle you should be constantly moving to find gaps to receive the ball
  • Check in and out to create space for yourself and your team mates
  • Receive the ball on the half turn so you can play forward as quickly as possible

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • If you are the neutral player what should you be trying to find?
  • How can you create space for yourself and team mates?
  • What body position allows you to play as quick as possible?

8. Receiving and turning in the square soccer drill

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this drill is to get lots of repetition of checking in and receiving the ball on a turn in an open body position.

Set up:

  • 7x7 yard area
  • 8 players
  • 4 soccer balls

Instructions:

Set up your area and place 4 players on 4 the different sides with a soccer ball each.

The other 4 players will be in the middle.

The players in the middle must check-in, create an angle to receive the ball in an open body position and then look to pass to someone who is free on the outside.

They will then repeat the process.

Encourage players to use both feet.

You can also alternate which part of the foot they can control the ball with as well.

Coaching points:

  • Check you shoulder before you check in so you know where you want to take your first touch
  • Create an angle to receive the ball in an open body position
  • First touch should be out your feet and your second touch should be a pass

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What should you do before you check in? Why?
  • How should you receive the ball?
  • What should your first touch be like and where should it go?

Progression:

As a progression, you can take away one ball from the players in the middle.

The player who does not have the ball must try and win the ball back off one of the other 3 players.

Every time a player successfully makes a pass that player will get one point

9. 1 player in the middle rondo soccer drill

Purpose of the soccer drill:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to help players in the middle find gaps between players to be able to play quick 1 touch passes to teammates

Set up:

  • 5x5 yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 7 players

Instructions:

Set up your square 5x5 yard area and place 4 players on the outside, 1 player for each square.

There will be 2 defenders and an attacker in the middle.

The possessing team gets a point every time a pass is successfully played from the outside to the inside player and then back to the outside player.

Rotate players around every 5 minutes and see who can get the highest score.

Coaching points:

  • The attacking player in the middle should be constantly looking for a gap between the defenders to receive the ball
  • The middle player should be constantly scanning the area so they are able to make quicker decisions
  • If you hare in the middle try to receive the ball in an open body position to keep more options of a pass open for you.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • As the player in the middle where is the best place for you to receive the ball?
  • How do you know what is going on around you?
  • What body position should you be in? How can this body position help you?

10. 1v1 possession square

Purpose of the drill:

The purpose of this drill is to get lots of repetitions of turning and receiving the ball under game realistic pressure.

Set up:

  • 5x5 yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 6 players (2 in the middle, 4 on the outside)

Instructions:

Divide your players into two teams of 3, 2 of these players will be on the outside opposite each other and 1 on the inside.

With your 5x5 yard area place 4 players around the outside but make sure that players on the same team are opposite each other.

This will leave a 1v1 on the middle with one soccer ball.

The aim of this drill is to combine passes with their 2 teammates on the outside. If they are able to work the ball from one team on the outside to the other they will get 1 point.

Rotate the players round every 5 minutes and the team with the most points at the end will be the winner.

Coaching points:

  • Use quick movements to lose your defender with the first movement being away from the space and the second movement towards the space.
  • Scan the area as frequently as possible so you know when and if to turn
  • If you can’t go forward play the ball back to give yourself a chance to reset and create a new option

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you lose your defender?
  • What can you do to help improve your decision making?
  • Do you always need to go forward?

Soccer drills for receiving and turning Conclusion

For a player to become comfortable receiving and turning on the ball they must consistently do these 4 things:

  • Check their shoulders so they are constantly know what is happening around them
  • Be able to check out then back in to create space for themselves or team team mates
  • Receive the ball in half turn (open body position) to keep as many options open as possible
  • First touch is always towards the space and away from the defender.

These soccer drills for turning and receiving should provide your players with loads of different experiences working on these 4 skills.

If you have any other soccer drills for receiving and turning that you have used with your teams leave a comment below.

Or if you know a coach that would find these soccer drills for receiving and turning helpful then please share them using our social media buttons.

If you like the animated drills check out the soccer coaching software I use.

Thank you,

Toby

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