Ball control is the ability to run with the ball at your feet, is one of the most important skills in playing football. A player will have a very hard time scoring without ball control.
It is a very tricky skill to learn. To become acquainted with moving along with the ball at your feet, try the skill at walking pace first. Check out these basic steps below:
- Walk slowly along while bumping the ball forward with your instep — preferably using both feet if you can, one after the other. Keep knocking the ball about a foot ahead of you each time, roughly the distance of one or two paces.
- When you are comfortable with Step 1, try nudging the ball along with other areas of your feet as well, the insides and outsides.
- When you are happy with Step 2, pick up speed gradually. First walk briskly with the ball at your feet, working your way up to a light jog, then eventually a run. Never attempt to run faster than you can control the ball.
While you are practicing this steps, try to keep your head up. Try very hard not to look down at your feet and/or the ball. When you dribble in a real football match, you need to keep your head up to look around the field for your team mates to pass the ball to, as well as keep an eye out for opposing defenders coming at you.
If you have an open area of the field to run into, you can kick the ball farther ahead of you. This allows you to sprint more quickly. If any opposing players are approaching towards you, you need to keep a closer rein on the ball. The closer an opposing player is, the closer you should keep the ball to your body. In order to defend the ball and not losing any position.