February 26, 2024

Soccer Skills in 60 Seconds: How to Improve Your First Touch

Mike Semenza


Hey guys, it’s coach, Mike Semenza here with Blayze soccer and another “Skills in 60 Seconds.”

Today, we are going to cover how to improve your first touch. We will use Christian Pulisic of the U.S. Men’s National Team as our example of executing a great first touch. In the following clip, Pulisic does two things well that you will want to implement.

- Keep your eye on the ball. Look at Pulisic’s head in the video. He has an intense focus on the flight of the ball. He is watching the path, looking for any spin. He is studying the ball so that as it hits his foot, he knows how to shape his foot.
- Shape your foot. Notice how Pulisic changes his foot. He pulls his toe back toward his forehead, to create a level surface. This will kill the momentum of the ball. He is also shaping it a little to the side. This is to be able to push the ball away from the defender and into open space.

Next Pulisic cuts the ball back to a teammate.

To improve your first touch, practice watching the ball during training. Notice how it moves through the air. Get used to reading how it will dip. Next, work on trapping the ball out of the air. There are some great drills to practice traps. An easy one is to throw a ball off a wall or rebounder and use your foot to take it out of the air. When you are comfortable with the trap. Try using a push movement, like Pulisic instead of stopping it.

Get out there and get practicing!

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Mike Semenza

Coach For L.A. Galaxy Development Team


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