Receiving The Ball In Soccer – 8 Questions Answered!

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Receiving the ball in soccer is a skill that every player should master.

Although it is very simple, there are a few things you should keep in mind when receiving the ball or a pass during a soccer/football game.

Don’t worry because, by the end of this article, you will be in a prime position to receive the ball in any situation during a soccer game.

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What Is Receiving The Ball In Soccer?

During a soccer game, the individual act of obtaining a pass from a teammate is called receiving the ball. It is one of the most important of all soccer skills.

Basically, receiving the ball means controlling that ball. In this case, it’s very important to master your first touch.

When you join a soccer academy, the first things you learn are ball control, passing the ball, and receiving the ball. These are the fundamentals.

How To Receive The Ball In Soccer?

Receiving a soccer ball seems so simple but it’s often never thought off to players. Even some advanced players don’t understand the basics of receiving a ball.

Here are the basics for beginners:

When receiving the ball, there’s an indiscernible up before the ball arrives at us. See Pic below.

Receiving the ball in soccer - A standing player receiving the ball from the inside of the foot
  1. Basically, as the ball comes in, you need to give a little up(your foot) and come back a little bit down on the ball to receive it. So, we up and low the foot before it comes back down to receive the ball.
  2. We don’t just let the foot hang there and allow the ball to hit it. It is a small kick or mini touch.
  3. Whether we try to move the ball away or kill it in front of us, the slight little up is so important to receiving the ball.
  4. The foot must come up off the ground while we touch the ball and gently go forward.
  5. Never keep your foot on the ground and low when receiving the ball. Otherwise, the ball will pop up.

What To Do Before Receiving A Pass In Football?

Before receiving a ball, what should be going through your head so that you know what to do next and therefore, make the best decision?

Well, that’s pretty simple:

A-Where is the opposition player?

The first thing you want to know intuitively is where is the defender? Knowing where the opponent defender is will allow you to know what to do next. For example, if there’s a defender right behind you, you might want to pass the ball back instead of turning.

So, make sure to always scan the field and look over your shoulders before you receive the pass.

B-Where is space?

Knowing where your available space is will help you make better decisions. For instance, if there are three defenders behind you and no space at all, you might want to give the ball back to where it came from instead of dribbling.

C-Anticipate where space is going to be

This is probably the most important thing to remember.

When receiving the ball, you only have a fraction of seconds to know where space is going to be. So, anticipating will help you make better decisions.

D-Where are your teammates?

Knowing where your teammates are before receiving the ball is very important. This skill is most suitable for midfielders.

During a game, you might find yourself in situations where you’ll have to play the ball in a first touch to a teammate without wasting time.

Iniesta was the perfect example of this. He always knew where his teammates were even before receiving the ball.

Simply be aware of what’s going on on the field so that before you receive that pass, you already know what you’re going to do next.

How To Receive A Soccer Ball In The Air?

Sometimes the ball is not going to come on the ground. So, we need to use whatever surface we can to trap the ball. This can be the sole or the side of the foot, one or two touches: If the ball lands on your chest, you have to bring it down and continue to play.

The skill of receiving the ball out of the air focuses on body positioning and decision making.

  • When you are receiving the ball out of the air, always continuously make babies steps(moving right and left) to help you get into line.
  • Decide early where and how you intend to receive the ball whether it’s with the foot, thigh or chest.
  • Bring the ball under control by trapping it against the ground. Allow the ground to work in your favour.
  • Always follow the trajectory of the ball. Stay focused on it.
  • Always keep your body over the ball when you receive it.
  • Make an extra touch if possible.

Follow these tips to improve your ability to receive the ball out of the air.

Types Of Receiving In Football/Soccer

There are several types of receiving the ball in football/soccer. In fact, you can receive the ball with any part of your body except your hands.

Here they are:

  • Receiving with the inside and outside of the foot. This is the most common one.
  • Receiving using your chest. This usually happens when the ball comes out of the air.
  • Your tighs
  • Your back. This doesn’t happen often.

How Do You Get To The First Ball In Soccer?

First of all, what is a first ball? Well, this is having the ability to be the first player to touch, header or control the ball before the opposing players.

This usually happens when the ball comes out of the air.

To be the first on the ball, here’s what you need:

  • You have to work on your movement off the ball.
  • Stop calling for the ball in bad positions
  • Always be in front of the opponent defender to get to the first ball.
  • Create passing lanes for your teammates. Your teammate shouldn’t pass to you if there’s no passing lane.
  • Be confident.  Don’t be scared to receiving the ball and ask for it. A lot of times, players are scared to receive the ball because they don’t know what to do with it. Don’t be that person.

What Is The Second Ball In Soccer?

As the name implies, a second ball is a ball you receive after the first one during a soccer game. If a ball is coming out of the air and a teammate deflects it towards you, you’re going to win that second ball.

For a second ball to occur, you have to press your opponent very high in order to force them to play long balls. From a long ball comes the first ball. And from a first ball comes the second ball.

There are two types of the second ball such as an offensive second ball and a defensive second ball.

How Do You Win A Second Ball In Soccer?

Football/soccer is not always about the second ball but it’s good to win them from time to time.

Here are the tips to win a second ball:

  • You have to press/counterpress your adversary very high to force long balls.
  • Once the long ball is played, you need to win and secure the reception of that second ball.
  • So, classic pressure + long ball + duel + second ball.

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of the second ball.

Winning the offensive second ball in the opponent half is very crucial to maintain the team’s shape and accumulate possession in a good situation to score a goal.

Winning the defensive second ball is very important in order to prevent the opposing team from having interesting situations in your own half.

Final Thoughts

The more aware of what’s happening on the pitch, the better your decisions making will be and the more you’ll instinctively know what to do when you get a pass.

Lack of awareness leads to nervousness, which you don’t want to have to happen.

What are your thoughts about receiving the ball in soccer? Do you have any other tips or experiences to share? Leave them in the comment section below.

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