“Trapping” means bringing
the ball under instant control. You can trap the ball with any legal body
surface. As with everything in soccer, good trapping skills take a lot of
practice, by yourself and with others.
Still, there are four basic
elements to making a good trap.
into the line of flight of the ball. Often,
players make a poor trap because they are not positioned so they can see
the ball well.
- Decide well
before the ball arrives which body surface to use for the trap.
your body into position so you can easily use
the surface you want to make the trap. It’s very easy to lose control
because you are reaching out instead of well positioned.
the ball all the way onto your contact
surface (foot, thigh, chest etc.). Again, it’s easy to make a poor trap if
you are looking out for opponents and are not watching the ball.
Beyond making the trap, a good
player needs to make that trap work for him. “First touch” is the skill of
trapping the ball and preparing it for immediate use – getting the ball into
position for a pass, a dribble, or a shot.
First touch is partly about
technique – the ability to control the ball instantly with a single touch
and send it exactly where you want. All the fundamental skills exercises -
and the trapping skills – will help.
But it’s equally your mental
preparation – your ability to think ahead and decide where you want to play
the ball before it even reaches you. You have to think it out in advance.
Decide before the ball arrives where you plan to
play it with your first touch, and which part of your body you are going to
Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United striker. Often plays alone up front.
A genius at instant control of the ball, often arriving from long, hard,
In the video, watch how he knows
exactly what he plans to do before making that key first touch to beat the