Find out more about the game by asking the experts
This week Girls FC received a letter from a young and budding footballer, Georgia in regards to improving her first touch. Georgia sets herself a goal of 1,000 touches a day and has incredible juggling skills but she doesn-t think this reflects her ball control and isn-t sure why. The Girls FC Experts got together with some of Australia-s best women-s footballers to give Georgia and all our budding footballers some advice!
We spoke to Collette McCallum, Perth Glory-s and Australia-s prolific midfielder and caught up with fellow Canberra United team-mate Emily Van Egmond, our own Midfield maestro, a bright future ahead for the young Australian representative.
Collette has the ability to make passes from any part of the pitch; her touch on the ball is exquisitely mastered due to many hours of practicing on her own. Give Collette a free kick outside the box and she will slot it in any corner of the goal. When she was younger she would kick the ball against a wall as much as possible.
Juggling for Collette, although it helps initially, she feels “…It-s quite predictable; I would recommend using a brick wall and passing the ball back and forth and controlling it as it rebounds off”.
We are all familiar with the phrase, “Practice makes perfect” and Collette McCallum-s touch on the ball is a result of this.
Emily Van Egmond, a classy midfielder in her own right agrees with Collette. Em often finds herself at the Australian Institute of Sport ‘boards-, continually striking the ball.
“I think it really improves your touch. As Collette pointed out it-s that little bit more unpredictable than just juggling. I think juggling is good too, it is important to incorporate both”.
Another training method in order to improve your touch would be to volley the ball up against a wall and count how many times you can repeat it without the ball hitting the ground. Use your feet, thighs, chest even your head. Set yourself goals to achieve and keep track of your achievements by writing them down. Having written proof always kept me motivated. I was able to look back and keep track of my progress. The most satisfaction though would be noticing improvements whilst training and playing games.
When you-re training with a team remind yourself of the simple things. First touch away from feet, try and face your opponent with the ball if you have the time and space, play the ball to your team-mates advantage (away from the defender). I-m continually reminding myself of these three simple things. If you manage to do the ‘simple things-
well you will stand out in the coaches eyes and therefore selectors eyes in the future.
Georgia, Girls FC hopes this answers your question. And good luck with improving your touch 🙂 Most importantly enjoy. We-d love to hear your and all our budding footballer-s feedback on if you-ve tried the above techniques and if you feel like you-ve improved.
Also thank you for your recommendation in regards to a Women-s Football superstar. Personally, I believe Women-s Football in this country has an exciting future and huge potential for growth. For as long as we have Fan-s and avid footballers like yourself- the future of football in this country remains an exciting prospect.