Ball mastery is an important aspect of football training and should be developed in players from an early age. Ultimately if a player cannot control the football he or she is going to have limited success playing the game. During regular training sessions where players are participating in team drills or playing small sided games their time on the ball is quite limited. They may be involved fully in each exercise but if you analyse how many occasions they actually have the ball in their possession during a training session it will be a very small percentage of the time.
The basic concept behind ball mastery, therefore, is to give each player as much time on the ball as possible practicing individual drills. Ideally this should be done outside a structured training session where time is limited but it is worth including briefly in each session to introduce new ideas or drills for the players to practice in their own time. We have included some videos which give some ideas of what you can ask your players to start practicing but there are many other resources available online. One organisation which we would recommend researching is Coerver Coaching (http://www.coerver.co.uk/), who specialise in ball mastery drills.
We have also included a video below about juggling the ball, which is a brilliant way to start practicing ball mastery and should be encouraged at every opportunity. A concept we would really encourage is to try to juggle the ball 1000 times every day. It may only be in bursts of 10 or 20 before the ball touches the ground but we can guarantee that after a few weeks of dedicated practice players will see a dramatic improvement in their touch and also their confidence.