How to Coach – Receiving

An Excerpt from the US Youth Soccer Skills School Manual – available in full under “Player Development Resources” on the ASC website.

(The age group in maroon is the age group when you should focus on developing the skill.)

Receiving

Controlling the ball is the glue that keeps the team cohesive. When this technique is strong throughout a team then ball possession becomes a tactical reality. Without good receiving techniques a player is reduced to a kick and run style of play.

Ground

  • Cushion
    • Inside of foot (U7/U8)
    • Outside of foot (U9/U10)
    • Instep (U9/U10)
  • Wedge
    • Sole (U7/U8)

Bounce

  • Cushion
    • Inside of foot (U9/U10)
    • Instep (U9/U10)
    • Outside of foot (U9/U10)
  • Wedge
    • Sole of foot (U9/U10)
    • Inside of foot (U9/U10)
    • Outside of foot (U9/U10)

Out of the Air

  • Wedge = the same as under receiving a bouncing ball with feet
  • Cushion
    • Instep (U14)
    • Thigh (U11/U12)
    • Chest (U11/U12)

These techniques should be taught stationary first before being taught on the move.

Ground

Cushion -Inside of Foot

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: feet about shoulder width apart; toes of the standing foot pointing forward; bend both knees a bit; arms out slightly for balance; turn the toes of the receiving foot out so that the arch of the foot is facing the oncoming ball; extend the receiving foot slightly forward; watch the ball onto the receiving foot
  2. Contact: with the flat inside area of the foot (centered at the arch of the foot); as the ball makes contact with the foot gently pull the leg backward to absorb the pace of the ball; keep the sole of the foot parallel with the ground
  3. Follow Through: bring the receiving foot back just beyond the standing leg; eyes on the ball

 

Cushion – Outside of the Foot

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: feet somewhat less than shoulder width apart; knees gently bent for balance; arms out a little for balance; toes of the standing foot pointing forward; turn the toes of the receiving foot in so that the outside of the foot is facing the oncoming ball; extend the receiving foot slightly forward; watch the ball onto the receiving foot
  2. Contact: with the outside area of the foot (turn the little toe down so that the outer edge of the instep makes contact with the ball); as the ball makes contact with the foot gently pull the leg backward to absorb the pace of the ball
  3. Follow Through: bring the receiving foot back to a point level with the ankle of the standing foot; eyes on the ball

 

Cushion – Instep

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: feet somewhat less than shoulder width apart; knees gently bent for balance; arms out a little for balance; toes of the standing foot pointing forward; toes of the receiving foot pointing down; ankle locked; extend the receiving foot slightly forward; watch the ball onto the receiving foot
  2. Contact: with the instep (shoe laces) meet the ball; gently pull the leg backward at the knee joint to absorb the pace of the ball; keep the toes down and ankle locked
  3. Follow Through: bring the receiving foot back just beyond the standing leg; eyes on the ball

 

Wedge – Sole

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: get the body behind the path of the ball; knees flexed; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: make a wedge from the sole of the trapping foot and the ground (45° angle with the toes up); use the opposite leg to give a firm point of balance; gently press the ball between the foot and the ground to stop its motion

 

With receiving ground balls show receiving to redirect, as follows:

  • With inside of the foot to outside of the body
  • With the inside of the foot across the body
  • With the inside of the foot turn around (180°)
  • With the outside of the foot to outside of the body
  • With the outside of the foot across the body
  • With the outside of the foot turn around (180°)
  • With the inside of the foot and behind the standing leg

 

Training Activity: Four Goal Mayhem

Play 4v4 up to 6v6 in a 30 x 20 yard grid when not using goalkeepers and in a 40 x 30 yard grid when using goalkeepers. Begin the activity with a drop ball in the center of the grid. Teams defend two goals (one on an end line and the other on a sideline) and attack the opposite two goals – variation: one team defends the two goals on the end lines and attacks the ones on the sidelines. One point is given for each properly received pass and for each goal scored. After a goal is scored restart with a drop ball in the center of the grid. When the ball goes out-of-bounds the activity is restarted with a kick-in.

U5/U6: inappropriate activity

U7/U8: play 4v4 without goalkeepers for 5 minute rounds U10: play to 5 points scored

U11/U12 & U14: play to 10 points scored

AASC_Fig_16_Passing_FourGoalMayhem

Figure 16 Four Goal Mayhem

Bounce

Wedge – Sole of Foot

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: let the ball bounce or drop below mid-shin height; lift the controlling foot up over the ball; the knees should be bent on both legs for balance; arms out a little from the sides; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: gently press down on the top of the ball with the sole of the foot; the body weight must be on the standing leg
  3. Follow Through: once the ball is stopped then stand balanced on both feet

 

Wedge – Inside of Foot

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: move into the path of the ball; standing leg planted and the knee slightly bent; raise the receiving foot so that it is over the top half (above line A) of the ball; knee of the receiving leg over the ball; toes of the receiving foot pointed forward; ankle locked; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: as contact is made with the ball gently press it to the ground; the lower leg is at a 45° angle to the ground; lean forward a bit; arms out for balance; eyes on the ball
  3. Follow Through: smoothly bring the receiving foot down while pressing the ball toward the ground and across the body; finish moving with the ball toward the standing leg side

 

Wedge – Outside of Foot

All components of receiving with this part of the foot are the same as with the inside of the foot with the exceptions that the outside of the instep is used to press the ball to the ground and the final movement is away from the standing leg.

 

Cushion – Inside of Foot

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: move into the path of the ball; standing leg planted and the knee slightly bent; raise the receiving foot so that it is level with line A of the ball; knee of the receiving leg opened; toes of the receiving foot pointed out; ankle locked; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: as the ball makes contact with the arch of the foot area withdraw the foot smoothly to absorb the pace of the ball; bring back the entire leg moving from the hip until the receiving foot is perpendicular to the heel of the standing foot
  3. Follow Through: once the ball is stopped then stand balanced on both feet

 

Cushion – Instep

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: move into the path of the ball; standing leg planted and the knee slightly bent; raise the receiving foot so that the laces are aligned with line B of the ball; knee of the receiving leg over the ball; toes of the receiving foot pointed down; ankle locked; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: as the ball makes contact with the instep of the foot withdraw the foot smoothly to absorb the pace of the ball; bring back the lower leg moving from the knee until the receiving foot is perpendicular to the heel of the standing foot
  3. Follow Through: once the ball is stopped then stand balanced on both feet

 

Cushion – Outside of Foot

All components of receiving with this part of the foot are the same as with the inside of the foot with the exceptions that the outside of the instep is used to absorb the ball.

 

Out of the Air

Wedge: This is the same as above with the feet.

Cushion: These techniques need to be shown first stationary and then redirecting the ball.

Cushion – Instep

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: get in line with the path of the ball; the body should rest on the non-receiving leg which is bent at the knee; the receiving leg should be relaxed and bent at the knee; raise the receiving foot as high up in the air from the hip as possible; watch the ball all the way onto the foot
  2. Contact: the ball should come into contact with the full instep; lock the foot in place to provide a steady receiving surface; receiving leg is lowered smoothly and fairly quick (first at almost the same pace as the ball – slow the speed as the leg comes closer to the ground); arms out slightly for balance
  3. Follow Through: the ball and the foot should remain in contact for as long as possible to reduce the pace of the ball as the leg is gradually slowing its speed toward the ground; the ball should land on the ground gently without bouncing

 

Cushion – Thigh

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: move into the line of flight of the ball; body weight is on the standing leg with the knee bent; the receiving leg is raised from the hip with the knee bent so that the thigh is at an angle of 50° to 60° to that of the shin; eyes on the ball
  2. Contact: essentially the same as receiving with the instep; ball contact should be near the center of the thigh; lower the thigh at roughly the same speed as the ball; the thigh muscles will absorb the impact of the ball
  3. Follow Through: lower the knee of the receiving leg as though stepping down from a ladder; the ball should drop in front of the player’s foot; balance normally

 

Cushion – Chest

Key Coaching Points

  1. Preparation: get in line with the path of the ball; prepare for contact by pushing the chest towards the ball; tuck the chin in towards the chest to protect the throat and to watch the ball onto the chest; bring the arms upward slightly to make the chest a bit concave and to help relax the upper body
  2. Contact: on impact relax the chest muscles to absorb the ball; exhale upon contact to better absorb the energy of the ball; watch the ball all the way onto the chest; lean slightly backwards from the waist and the knees in the action of bending as ball contact is made; the ball then drops neatly under control
  3. Follow Through: regain a natural posture to now dribble, pass or shoot the ball

 

Training Activity: Windows

The grid should be 20 x 20 yards or smaller. Have an equal number of players inside and outside the grid, but no more than twelve total. Players inside the grid each have a ball. They dribble inside the grid to find a player on the outside that is available to receive a pass. Players on the outside should return the pass to the inside player within three touches (less if the players are skillful enough to make good immediate return passes). The inside player may now practice various ways of receiving the return pass. After a set amount of time the players switch places. With U10 and older players the return pass could be bouncing or rolling. With U12 and older players the return pass could be in the air, bouncing or rolling.

U5/U6: inappropriate activity

U7/U8: rolling balls only, play for 1 minute rounds

U9/U10: 2 minute rounds

U11/U12 & U14: 3 minute rounds

AASC_Fig_17_Receiving_Windows

Figure 17 Windows

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