Advantages of Ball Control Drills
There are more advantages to gain doing ball control drills than just boosting the ball coordination skills.
These are the primary advantages, but the list goes on.
- Improvement of ball mastery skills
- Learning new moves which are the base of more complex moves
- Developing automatisms
- Improving the 'bad foot' or less preferred foot
- Boosting self-confidence
- Building up resistance against injuries
- Contribution to the build-up of basic fitness
- Warm-up before a game or training
Improvement of ball mastery skills
This is obvious but nevertheless very important.
The better ball coordination skills a player develops, the more he/she is able to learn and master new more complex moves. The more ball control skills a player obtains, the more he can focus on the game.
Every ball touch counts and delivers a contribution to the development of these required skills. No other exercise offers so many ball touches on a short time as ball control drills do.
Learning new moves
Every movement we make requires a complex cooperation of the central nervous system and the muscles which it controls. Where should the foot be planted? And when? How must the ball be touched?
When a new move is learned, the required procedure is processed step by step repeatedly to store it in short-term memory and eventually, in long-term memory.
New complex moves we see performed on the grass by the present generation of soccer stars are in essence moves composed of more simple moves joined together. A player which masters the basic ball control skills can in no time learn these tricky moves.
Some moves are solely focussed on training skills that improves ball coordination. Other moves are part of more complex moves which are directly usable during a game. As an example, a player must be proficient to flawlessly roll a ball with the inside of the foot before he can master a move like the Slap Stepover.
By practising ball control drills we can learn a move and with focus run through the matching procedure correctly. That doesn't automatically mean it became an automatism. We can only speak of an automatism when the player is able to correctly execute the move unconsciously and intuitively. The player doesn't have to focus solely on the ball, but is completely aware of the game, the opponents and teammates. He/she is able to instantly judge the situation and immediately take the best decision. It all happens natural and unconsciously.
The larger the collection of mastered automatisms, the more solutions a player can come up with to beat any thinkable situation he/she faces during the game.
For example, an attacker who is cornered by a defender demands a complete different solution compared to an attacker forcing an break-through at full speed and being chased by a defender. Recognising and correctly judging any given situation during the game is crucial. This comes with experience.
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