10,000 Touch Workout

You may have heard of the 10,000-Hour Rule made famous by Malcolm Gladwell.

I’ve been challenging our players to get as many touches on the ball per day in between practices, ultimately 10,000. Here’s a great article on this school of thought.

Below is a great workout of a simple (albeit long) yet effective workout for those who are diligent enough to undertake this challenge (each link is a cue to that particular move in the same video).

I put this together so that anyone who wants to work on their ground skills can have a list to practice with. Difficulty for most of these exercises is easy to moderate.

Repeat twice or perform double repetitions to get to 10,000 touches in this workout. At high speed each drill can take approximately one to two minutes.

(The numbers below each video refer to Repetitions | Touches per each Repetition | Touches Per Exercise. The total number for this exercise is 5,000)

Tap Top of ball with toes


50 2 100

Kick ball between feet


50 2 100

Pull Back Right Push Forward w/ R. Instep


75 2 150

Pull Back Left Push Forward w/ L. Instep


75 2 150

Pull Back, Push Forward w/ Same Foot Alternating feet


50 4 200

Pull Back Right Push Forward w/ R. Inside


75 2 150

Pull Back Left Push Forward w/ L. Inside


75 2 150

Pull Back Right Push Forward w/ L. Instep


75 2 150

Pull Back Left Push Forward w/ R. Instep


75 2 150

Pull Back Right Push Forward w/ L. Inside


75 2 150

Pull Back Left Push Forward w/ R. Inside


75 2 150

Roll Between Both Feet Using Cleats


75 2 150

Roll Ball Back w/ R. Stop With Toes Behind Body


75 2 150

Roll Ball Back w/ L. Stop with Toes Behind Body


75 2 150

Roll back, turn to the outside with inside of foot. Alternate feet


50 4 200

Roll back, turn to the outside with instep. Alternate feet


50 4 200

Roll back, kick behind other leg with instep. Alternate feet


50 4 200

Step Overs


75 2 150

Kick between feet roll out, kick to other foot. Repeat


50 8 400

Roll across body, kick between feet, roll alternate way. Repeat


50 6 300

Roll to outside of the opposite foot, back to center. Alternate feet


50 4 200

Roll to outside of the same foot, back to center. Alternating feet


50 8 400

Roll Across body alternating feet


50 2 100

McGeady Turn (turn both directions)


50 4 200

Juggles – 100 instep (top of foot), no ball spin

100 1 100

Juggles – 100 inside of foot, no ball spin

100 1 100

Juggles – 100 instep (top of foot), top spin

100 1 100

Juggles – 100 Thighs

100 1 100

Juggles – head

100 1 100

Throw ball up – trap with chest, then trap with foot

50 2 100

AT PRACTICE: In addition to the ball and cone dance and passing exercises I made videos for, Here’s a summary video some of the exercises we’ve been warming up with:

ON DAYS YOU HAVE LESS TIME AT HOME: I’ve told our kids even 5-15 minutes EVERY day with the ball makes HUGE strides. Here’s a great video of combined exercises they can try:

INCENTIVES: I don’t want to make this a “chore” for kids, but it reaps huge benefits in the games, so I welcome your feedback as to what incentives or inspirations your kids would respond to (every kid is different and YOU know them the best.) For kids who like TV (or video games), I’ve encouraged kids to make the most of their viewing time by having a ball at their feet. This is all the more incentive for them to learn to do these moves with their head up. Set up a little playing area, and explain to them that you’ll let them play with a ball in the house as long as it stays in that area.

I know kids are busy with homework and responsibilities at home, which are much more important. But A little bit each day* makes muscle memories that last forever (yeah, I just made that up… 😉 I’m going to followup with a standardized series of workout progressions and challenges that will make up different levels of achievement, but I offer this as material to get you started. I’m obviously trying to give them some specifics for kids who need it rather than just say, “Work with the ball at home.”