Learning to chest a ball will improve your ball control. First touch is so important in this game. Taking a ball out of the air on your chest is part of having a great first touch. This article will cover the fundamental key points to chest trapping a ball straightforward.
Chest a Soccer Ball| Step by Step Guide:
1. Arms in, not out. When the ball is coming to your chest you want your arms in. This will help protect you in case a defender crashes into your side. What you don’t want is your arms out like you are trying to fly away. You certainly don’t get style points for that!
2. Feet Shoulder Width Apart. For good balance have your feet shoulder width apart.
3. Have a Slight Bend in your Knees.
4. Lean Back Slightly. As the ball is getting close to you, lean back slightly in preparation of receiving it. If you lean back too far the ball will go behind you or up too high. When the ball goes behind you and you didn’t want it to that’s a bad touch. Also if the ball goes up too high in the air, it’s not that’s it’s a bad touch, but it’s not a smart touch. The reason is it takes an extra second or two for the ball to come back down. This extra second or two is more time for a defender to close you down. You don’t want that!
5. Receive the Ball Right Below your Clavicle Bone. The ball should hit right below your clavicle bone and right above your chest line.
6. Cushion or Pop the Ball. If the ball is coming hard at you then cushion the ball in by absorbing it right when the ball is about to hit you. You do this by leaning back right when the ball is about to hit you. It’s like catching an egg. Would you catch an egg like this? No, because it would hit your hands and break. You’d catch an egg by cushioning it in. Same idea applies to a fast ball coming at you. If the ball is coming soft at you, then you need to pop the ball off your chest more. This is because the ball’s natural momentum isn’t much so you have to give it that extra pop.
7. Control the Ball One to Two Feet ahead of you. In most situations when chest trapping you want your touch to put the ball one to two feet ahead of you. If the ball is too close to your body when you trap it then it’s awkward to try and kick it on your second touch. Versus taking a touch one to two feet ahead of you and this sets you up for a smooth kick.
8. Remember it’s not easy to make it look easy, you want to be the type of player that makes it look easy.
9. Mini Bonus Tip! It’s easier for the player receiving the ball if it’s a firm, straight toss versus a high lobbed toss. How to Make It More Challenging! After two sets, make it more challenging by having your partner mix it up and serve it to you faster and softer versus perfect every time. This way you have to adapt as the ball is traveling whether you should cushion it in or pop it forward. Repeat this for one minute and then switch. Do two sets each.
10. What’s wrong! If the ball is going up too high or behind you when you trap it then you are leaning too far back. Remember it’s a slight lean back, not a limbo lean back!
11. Bonus Tip! Don’t be scared when the ball hits you! If you are like ouch, I hope this doesn’t hurt, OMG I hope the ball never comes to me in the air… then you are bound to have a bad touch every time. Yes, it might hurt when you are first learning to chest trap, but you will get over it!
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