Receiving is such an important aspect of football, I think it needs a place on these forums. So here goes.
There's a lot more to receiving than just stopping the ball. The true skill of receiving involves anticipating what's about to happen on the field so that your first touch of the ball will prepare you optimally for the next action.
You can receive balls on the ground with any of the 3 main surfaces of the foot: inside, outside, or instep. Wherever your opponents are and where the ball is coming from depends on which surface you will use. If a defender is pressuring you as you receive the ball with your back to the goal, it would be best to receive the ball with the outside of your foot to keep your body between the ball and the defender. The inside of the foot is very effective in receiving when your facing your attacking direction; you open your hips, receive the ball across your body, and have the greatest vision of the options for passing or dribbling. You could use the instep to receive a ball when your decision is to take the space on the dribble at speed.
Many people emphasizwe the need to cushion the ball, so that the ball remains close and a player can maintain possession. While this is true, the ultimate goal is to control the pace of the oncoming ball and redirect it in the desired direction. The essential element is that the first touch prepares the player for the next
action to take place. When receiving it is important to look up and see where your opponents and teammates are positioned before you make contact with the ball.
Here is a guide to the three main techniques of receiving:
Inside of the Foot
The inside of the foot is probably the most often used to receive a ball. It's the best technique to use when you have time and space to receive the ball and when your facing your attacking direction.
When receiving, your ankle should be locked with your toes up to provide a large surface area. Your leg should be rotated so that the inside of the foot is perpendicular (T) to the direction youre going to play the ball. Your plant leg should be bent slightly to allow yourself to move with the ball, making the touch active.
The degree to which you cushion the ball on impact depends on the pace of the incoming pass and the desired length of the first touch. The point of contact on the ball should be just above the horizontal middle to ensure that the ball remains on the ground and is not popped up.
1.Ankle locked with toes up and foot sideways with the inside of your foot facing forward.
2.Plant leg is bent slightly to allow yourself to adjust and move.
3.Contact just above the middle of the ball to keep it low.
4. Your weight should be forward in order to keep the ball low and make it easier for you to control.
Outside of the Foot
The same low and balanced stance used when receiving with the inside of the foot is used with the oustisde of the foot as well. The outside of the foot is an excellent option when receiving the ball under pressure because it allows you to keep a greater distance between the ball and the opponent. By positioning your body sideways on to the defender and receiving with the outside of the foot, you have the width of your body between the defender and the ball. Proper foot position normally has the toe slightly pointed downward and slightly inward. This should create a flat surface with the outside portion of the instep that contact the top half of the ball, again keeping it on the ground.
1. Bend your planting foot slightly to allow yourself to move with the ball.
2. Use your upper body and arms as a shield and balance when under pressure.
3. Your toe is slightly pointed downward and slightly inward.
4. Your weight should be slightly forward in order to keep the ball low and make it easier for you to control.
The instep is used to create a more penetrating first touch. With the instep, the object is usually to penetrate forward into an open space. It allows you to contact the ball without breaking stride.
1. Your ankle is locked downward.
2. Your weight is forward.
3. Use your upper body to keep you balanced.
4. Contact the middle of the ball or higher to keep it low.
Receiving Air Balls
Receiving with Chest
1. Your knees are bent and back is arched backward.
2. Your body relaxes at the moment of impact and ball rests momentarily on the chest.
3. A second touch settles the ball to the ground.
Receiving with the Thigh
1. Bring your thigh up parallel to the ground before contacting the ball.
2. absorb the momentum of the ball by moving you rhigh downward with the ball's momentum.
Receiving with the Instep
The instep is the most effective surface for taking a ball out of the air and preparing it to be played from the ground with the very next touch. When you receive with your instep, you must have room to allow the ball to drop to approximately knee height or below. A low and balanced body position is again critical here to allow you to adjust the free leg to the flight of the ball.
1. Standing in a balanced body position, lift a free foot up to the ball.
2. Initial contact is made high.
3. Your foot then moves with the path of the ball until it is set on the ground.
Inside of the Foot
Receiving air balls with the side of the foot can be used in many situations. Mostly it is used when you have a lot of space off of a cross. Make sure to be on your toes so you can adjust to the flight of the ball and maintain a balance position with the help of your arms.
1. Standing in a balanced body position, lift a free foot about up to your knees, this will give you enough space to pull your leg back upon impact.
2. Contact the middle of the ball with the middle of your foot.
3. Upon impact, your foot then moves with the path of the ball until it is set on the ground.
Outside of the Foot
The outside of the foot can be used as a decisive first touch to bring the ball into space under the pressure of an opponent. After the initial contact is made, explode in the direction the ball was sent.
1. Standing in a balanced body position as always, lift a free foot up roughly about a foot off of the ground, just below knee-height.
2. The second the ball bounces off the ground, your toes should be slightly inward, contact the upper half of the ball with the outside of the foot and lead in that direction with that foot. (eg. if you contact with your right foot, contact the upper left of the ball to make the ball go right and lead into that path)
3. This is also a great way to fake your opponent out right before you contact the ball, you can lead them left then at the last second receive and redirect it with the outside of your foot then explode to the right.
What to practice
Here is a link to a good topic on exercies for improving your touch:
http://www.expertfootball.com/forum/vie ... php?t=7174
For controlling balls from the air, simply toss the ball up behind you, turn around and use your inside, outside, and instep to control the ball; like in these very nice videos by expert:
To furthermore help practice your receiving from the air, toss a ball on a roof that slopes downward and trap it with your chest, thighs, and feet when it comes down.
Remember, it is crucial to watch how pros and college players receive the incoming ball and where they redirect it relative to their opponents. Receiving is one of the most important aspects to your individual game and it needs to be nourished.
Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcomed.