At First Touch we believe that creative and skilful football should be encouraged from the beginning of a young football player’s career. Our coaches accept failure when it comes to winning trophies and always focus on encouraging players to have individualism and game understanding.
Our young football players should understand that it is important for them to enjoy playing football and that it is their development that comes first and not the result of the game. Each and every player in First Touch teams are important regardless of their ability and every player deserves our attention. Our coaches focus is on how they can keep each player involved in learning the process of football.
Another important factor is that each player should learn to trust their teammates with the football, this is only possible if the coach has set an environment where players feel they can trust each other. Obviously mistakes will happen and this is when our coaches can really help the players make the necessary changes for future games.
So often people only focus on the football games that children play and often forget how important regular practice/training is for our young football players. During First Touch training, players are taught to keep their eyes up when running with the ball, as this will help them to be aware of the opposition and they will also be able to see the gaps that are left open to exploit.
Football training will encourage the player to make decisions on time and space, if there is space for him/her to run with the ball and should there be no space, is there space for them to go out wide. They are taught if the space is limited in front, they can change direction and run across the defender whilst screening with the ball. The player will also learn to keep the ball on the safe side whilst running with the ball. It is normal for young players to look at the ball and by teaching them to keep their eyes up and scan ahead to see the opposition and their teammates it allows them to exploit spaces.
By regular practice players get into the habit of receiving the ball side on so they can clearly see what is behind them. By practicing this it allows a player to receive the ball on the back foot and to be able to turn into space quicker or receive on the front foot to keep it away from the opposition.
After weeks of training, there is nothing more rewarding than for a First Touch coach to stand on the side-line during a game and see how his players play creative football and make the right decisions.