Soccer Session To Improve First Touch

A player’s first touch will be their most important touch in a game of soccer, with a good first touch players can beat opposing players who are pressuring them and take a positive touch into space. Use this soccer session to improve the first touch and help players feel confident when receiving the ball.

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This soccer session will give your players a lot of repetition of using a variety of different touches in unpressured and pressured situations.

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Soccer Session for the first touch


Time: 15 minutes

Set up:

  • 7 x 7 yard
  • 1 soccer ball per 4 players
  • 1 defender
  • 3 attackers
  • 1 goal


The players must keep the ball away from the defender and see how many passes in a row they can get before the defender intercepts or steals the ball from the attackers.

If the defender steals the ball place a goal on the edge of the area for them to score into.

The play will restart with the attackers when the defender has taken their shot on goal whether they scored or missed.

The play will continue if the attacking team manages to win the ball back.

Coaching points:

  • The first touch should be away from the pressure and towards the space
  • Practice using the inside and outside of your back foot when
  • Scan the area before you receive a pass so you know where to take your first touch

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Where should your first touch take you?
  • What parts of the foot should can we use when receiving the ball?
  • What should we be doing before we receive the ball?

Technical activity

Time: 15 minutes

Set up:

  • 3 cones per pair
  • 1 Soccer ball per pair


set up your cones in a straight line roughly a yard in length and place your 2 soccer players on either side of the coned line.

The players must pass the ball to each other alternating from left to right however it must stay on the outside of the cones.

When a player receives the ball they must run parallel to the coned line and pass to their teammate on the other side.

Players can start by using the inside of their back foot to take the touch and pass.

Challenge players to control the pass and pass the soccer in as few touches as possible.

Coaching points:

  • You should be side on when receiving the ball
  • Your chest should be facing the direction you want to take the touch
  • Stay light on your feet

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How should you be standing when you’re waiting to receive the ball?
  • Which way should I be facing?
  • What can I do to help easily adjust to a pass?

First touch soccer progression

Time: 15 minutes

Set up:

  • 1 Soccer ball per pair
  • 6 cones to make 3 goals
  • 1 defender 1 attacker


Set up the goals at a slight angle 5 yards apart with the defender starting in the middle passing to the attacker. There will also be a goal behind the attacker that the defender can score if they win the ball back

Once the defender has passed the ball they will apply pressure to the attacker immediately the attacker must try and beat the defender using their first touch and dribble through the goals either to their left or right.

after 5 turns swap the defender and the attacker.

Coaching points:

  • Disguise your first touch with your body position and shape (look like you’re going to go one way then go the other)
  • Try and beat the defender with your first touch and accelerate away
  • Use both feet and different parts of your foot for your first touch

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can we make it harder for the defender to predict where our first touch is going to take us?
  • After our first into the space, what do we need to do as well to get away from the defender?
  • What else can we do to be unpredictable for the defender?

Conditioned game

Time: 20 minutes

Set up:

  • 15 x 20-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 teams


This will work as a regular scrimmage however if a player can beat a player with their first touch and retain possession/ take a shot on goal it will be worth 1 point.

If a team manages to score a goal it will be worth 2 points.

Coaching points:

  • Reinforce previous coaching points with individuals
  • Try to intervene as little as possible and only step in if you see a reoccurring problem.

Regular scrimmage: 15 minutes

Soccer session to improve first-touch conclusion

This soccer session to improve the first touch should give your players a chance to the technical skills of different kinds of touches and then practice applying them to game-like scenarios.

If you have any other sessions of drills that you have used to help improve your player’s first touch then please leave a comment below. Also if you know a coach who would find this helpful then please share using our social media buttons.

Thank you!


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The Youth Soccer Coaching Handbook

Take the stress out of coaching youth soccer with 250+ pre-made soccer sessions and drills, just turn up and coach!

Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll find inside:

  • 35 Defending Drills
  • 35 Dribbling and 1v1 Drills
  • 21 SAQ Drills
  • 47 Passing, Control, and Possession drills
  • 31 Goalkeeper drills
  • 36 Shooting and Finishing drills
  • 30 Soccer Games U4 – U8
  • 20 Pre-made soccer sessions (90 minutes in length each)

Soccer Session to improve First touch PDF

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