There are two types of control: trapping and receiving. Trapping usually means stopping or settling the ball at your feet. When trapping the ball, the most important part is to stay on your toes. It is harder to adjust to the ball when you're stiff or flat-footed. Keep your hips open, facing the direction from which the ball is served. Cushion the ball by withdrawing your foot just before the time of contact.
Receiving or "directional control" means directing the ball into space, away from the body. Receiving the ball into space is useful when you are being marked. Try to make contact with the middle or top part of the ball away from your marker. Good footballers can settle the ball into space, even when under pressure.
The inside of the foot is one of the most common ways of trapping the ball.
For starters, make sure that your hips are facing the teammate who is serving the ball. Keep the weight on your toes so you can react and be prepared to adjust to the pass quickly. Ideally, you want to contact the ball with the arch of your foot. Cushion the ball by retracting your foot at the time of contact.
This technique is used when receiving passes that are not directed to your feet or when the ball is coming from the side. You should contact the ball using the area on the outside part of your shoelaces.
This technique is useful when the ball is falling from above. Don't just wait for the ball to arrive, instead try to remain on your toes and quickly adjust to its trajectory. Cushion the ball using the area of your shoelaces. At the moment of contact, withdraw your controlling foot by bending the knee and ankle.
The thigh is useful when you want to trap the ball as it's falling. Make sure to position yourself properly, before you try to trap the ball. Adjust your thigh so that the ball is directed downward. If you don't retract your thigh, the ball will just bounce off.
The chest provides the largest surface area for trapping and receiving the ball. To trap the ball with your chest, stretch out your arms and arch your back slightly. You may also have to bend your knees or jump in order to align your chest with the height of the ball.
The sole of the foot can be applied in tight situations, for example when controlling the ball while you are being marked. Make sure to use your foot that is further away from the marker. Put your foot on top of the ball with your toes raised slightly above the heel. Using the sole of the foot, you can roll the ball to transition for a shot or dribble.
Start by placing two cones approximately 15 meters (16 yards) apart. Stand at one cone, with your back towards the other cone. Flick the ball over your head, then turn and control it as it falls. Make sure to stay on your toes and adjust quickly before the ball hits the ground.
It's important to know how much time is available before you try to control the ball. Sometimes, a quick one-touch pass or shot might be the better choice. If you find yourself lacking options or being closed down unexpectedly then you've probably made a poor decision. For example, there's rarely time to trap the ball when you're in the opposing penalty box, so you shouldn't attempt to trap it there.
The advantage of controlling the ball is that it makes your following touch easier. When you trap the ball first, you can then produce a better shot, pass and so on. Keep in mind that if your first touch is bad there may not be a second one.
You need to be aware of the position of nearby defenders before you get the ball. Usually, you want to play or direct the ball away from your opponents and shield it so you don't lose possession.