The importance of a good first touch from a back pass.

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Good first touch from back pass

The importance of a good first touch from a back pass.

Like the first save that is made, the ability to have a good first touch when a back pass is provided breeds confidence to both the goalkeeper and the team. Like a poor first save, a poor first touch and resulting consequences can give the opposition a boost in moral as they see that the goalkeeper they are playing against is susceptible to mistakes.

This was recently the case for one of my old students, Lee Butcher, who’s poor first touch resulted in a scramble to collect the ball in the first 10 minutes….. needless to say the opposition chased down every back pass there after, making the game difficault for Lee.  See video here. 

You will see from the video that in all honesty, the touch was not too bad. He got in line with the ball, his touch went forward….. but it was slightly too heavy considering the player charging in.

One of the biggest mistakes from a first touch perspective is Rene Huigita’s mistake in the 1990 World Cup. See here for the video. 

More recently, Houston Dynamo goalkeeper, Tyler Deric suffered from a poor first touch that resulted in the winning goal for new MLS team Orlando. It’s a shame for Tyler, as up until then, he had had a great game.

Here is an example of what could happen if you don’t take a first touch at all.


Some repititions to practice:

1) Preferred foot control, Preferred foot delivery
2) Preferred foot control, Non preferred foot delivery 
3) Non preferred foot control, Preferred foot delivery 
4) Non preferred foot control, Non preferred foot delivery
Decision is made based on time you have and where the incoming forward is coming from and where your team are getting open.
First touch must be diagonally forward and on the floor – Control that is backwards, up in the air or stuck under feet create difficulties.
Your selection of distribution is then based upon your coaches preferred method. ( Short to full back, wide to midfield or long to forwards ) and the tempo of the game. You would not risk a short ball to a full back under pressure if you are winning 1-0 with 2 minutes to go. It is important that you ask your coach of the preferred distribution.
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