Striking the Ball on your Laces

Not everyone has heard of Ball Mastery and why it is so important. It is, However, a fast developing area of coaching and training, allowing players to increase their contact time with the ball and become more comfortable in a variety of situations.

Ball Mastery gives players the time, and focus, to practise and demonstrate technical ability on the ball. As they keep practising they improve their control, co-ordination, weaker foot, skill, and composure. The training provides players with the ability to practise new skills and routines, shifting the ball from one foot to the other.

The beauty of it is that players can go at their own pace, they can practice until they feel comfortable and keep working on their techniques. All you need is a ball and some demonstrations. If you are a coach you can demonstrate these skills to your players (if you feel confident too), or you can show them some Ball Mastery demonstrations through YouTube.

The main aim is to increase the touches on the ball, developing the close control and skill that are the foundation of the individuals game.

Some ask 'why practice Ball Mastery, it just seems to be skills that are irrelevant during a game?'

In my eyes, this couldn't be further from the truth. Ball Mastery provides players with the opportunity to become more comfortable and confident on the ball. With each touch taken, they become better. Over time, with the increase in their practice they will feel comfortable and composed when they have the ball at their feet. Ball Mastery trains players to develop their co-ordination, quickly moving the ball from one foot to the other while maintaining their balance.

After a sustained period of Ball Mastery training, players will begin to show their confidence on the ball in pressurised situations. Receiving the ball in tight areas will be no problem as they can shift the ball from one foot to the other and demonstrate a quick turn to move out of trouble. These practiced drills become ingrained in the player, allowing them to think freely, with no pressure.

It is a fantastic area of development for players, and something that we at OpportunityElite are very passionate about. Ball Mastery can be used in warm ups, individual training, technical sessions, or even as homework challenges for your team.

The key to it is repetition. Very few players can perform the skills straight away, stick with it and keep practising and you will see huge improvements in balance, co-ordination, speed of thought, control, and ability on the weaker foot.

Give these Twenty Ball Mastery demonstrations from the video below a try.

The more you try these skills, the better you will become. It doesn't happen over night, but the development will be clear to see if you incorporate Ball Mastery into your training.

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