The Importance of a Good First Touch in Soccer

The Importance of a Good First Touch in Soccer


Regardless of whether you are a forward, a midfielder, or a defender, you absolutely have to have a good first touch. If you take a look at some of the pro games from the top leagues around the world, you’ll see that the players who get the most starts are the ones with fantastic first touches. It’s a quality that every coach is looking for, so it’s a skill that any aspiring soccer player will want to perfect.

Below you will find just some of the most important reasons why you should have a good first touch in soccer.

Higher Possession Numbers

The team with the higher possession percentage will often win games. If you have a good first touch, you will be able to add to those possession numbers since you will be able to keep the flow of the possession going.

Players who don’t have good first touch techniques tend to bring that flow to a halt since they have to focus on getting the ball back under control so much. Other teams take note of these players and will be more willing to take chances by putting more pressure on them.

Read more on the significance of possession in soccer.

Fewer Turnovers

Fewer Turnovers

An effortless first touch will greatly reduce the amount of turnovers that you concede since you will be able to shield the ball quicker and get past your opponents. That quick first touch will force your opponents to respect your skills and they will often stay further back in fear of you getting past them.

Imagine that you are in the box on your team’s corner kick. If the ball bounces around and ends up coming to you, a great first touch will give you a chance to score while a bad one could give the opponents a counterattacking opportunity. There are so many more examples where having a good first touch benefits both you and your team.

Better Under Pressure

Better Under Pressure

When you are confident in your first touch, you won’t be as bothered by defenders putting pressure on you. You will believe in your ability to keep the ball away from them and keep your team’s possession going.

This is a fantastic skill to have when your team is facing any type of press. Rather than having to worry about your first touch, you will be able to trap the ball and figure out where to go next. For example, if you are in one of the corners on the pitch, you will have a much higher chance of finding a way out because you’ll have your head up looking for the next pass or shot.

Better Vision

A player who doesn’t have a good first touch technique will have to look down at the ball for a longer period of time. This puts extra pressure on that player and greatly reduces the chances of them being able to pick out the best passes. Obviously this can lead to turnovers and won’t be helping the team in the short or long term.

If you do have a good first touch, your head will always be up and searching for the holes in the defense. This will greatly improve your vision skill and you’ll be able to pick out the runs that your teammates are making all over the field.

You’ll be a More Confident Player!

Confident Player

As you can probably tell by now, having a good first touch can do wonders for your overall game. It can make you a better passer, shooter, and all-around better teammate. The first touch skill is something that every player needs to work on at every practice so they are prepared when it comes time to use it in games.

If you want to work on your first touch, a great way to start is to use smaller balls to develop better control.