Here’s a fun exercise that will help develop your player’s touch on the ball very quickly:
Hopping on one foot, move the ball through a square of cones placed shoulder width apart.
Try to follow the pattern laid out by the attached diagrams, switching feet when the ball goes sideways through the middle of the square so that you are making a double figure 8 with the ball around all the cones in the square.
It’s harder to do on a flat surface with flat-soled shoes, but it makes doing it wearing cleats on grass easy! If you are player learns to the pattern slowly, they will learn to speed it up very quickly.
I sent the pattern up to basically mimic having to get the ball around the feet of multiple opponents. So that when our kids get mobbed on multiple sides when they have the ball, they will have practiced every angle they can use to get the ball out of trouble.
Time how long it takes your to do the pattern 3x and then see if they can speed it up over the season. There will be an award based on their progress, but mastery of this skill will be part of an acheivement rating system we’ll be incorporating to help them track the development of their techniques. If they spend just 10-15 mins a day on a skill like this, in a week, they should be able to do it with their head up (ideally, while looking at passing options!)