Coach your players to turn with the ball

What has been great during the international break in Europe for the Euro qualifying games has been the performance of England’s youngsters, especially the skills of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jadon Sancho.

They are so confident on the ball and get into some fantastic positions by using their skills – and boy would having players with their skills help every team at every level of the game.

So how do you go about giving players those skills?

For improving players, turning with the ball while keeping it under control is an important development phase. Key elements of this are practising different turning techniques and developing spatial awareness (knowing when and where to turn).

Here are five great drills and activities that will help your players keep control when they are turning with the ball.

First, take a look at Vital skills – The hook turn. Here you can get your players to watch the skill in the video and then practise it in a game.

Turning with the ball is relevant for all age groups but players must start practising it in the U7-U10 development phase. In my EasiCoach curriculum, the sessions Dribble the ball 5 yards and turn (U9 activity) and Develop a turning skill (U10 activity) are simple ways to get players turning with the ball, while Develop turning skills (U14 game) works well for slightly older players with a bit more technical ability.

You should also work on an end product that is created by turning with the ball… In Shoot on the turn the player turns and finishes by shooting. This is a great way to take a player’s mind off the turn and focus on the shot so he learns to do it without having to think about it.

Dave Clarke

About Dave Clarke

Dave Clarke is head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly, providing thousands of subscribers worldwide with drills, insight and advice covering all aspects of coaching.

As well as being a skilled journalist and editor, Dave has excellent coaching credentials, having coached U9s – U16s at grassroots level for over 20 years.

He holds a UEFA B license and is qualified in FA Youth Award modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Coerver Youth Diploma Module.


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