At the highest levels, one-touch passes dominate. You can’t expect beginning players to play one-touch successfully, but as they improve, you can begin to incorporate one-touch activities into your practice sessions. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Start with two players and one ball 10 to 20 yards apart. Have the players pass back and forth with one touch. To make it more competitive, you have each group race against the others. The first team to 50 passes wins. You can vary the surfaces used in this activity.
You can also use three players. Set them up 20 yards apart with two on the outside with a ball. There will be one worker in the middle. He/she has to check to the ball and lay off with one touch. You can use the inside of the foot, outside of the foot, head, chest, inside volley and laces volley. Each player works for 45 seconds to a minute.
To make this more meaningful, you can ask the players to complete as many passes as possible within the time frame. You should have multiple groups going at the same time. Ask for the top three groups. This activity now makes them play on the move.
You can then move to a 3v1 one touch game in a 10×10 grid. They now have to make decisions as the pressure has increased with the presence of a defender. The player that loses possession has to defend.
You can challenge the players by playing a game of 21. This game is played with two teams of 6 or 7 players. They are on open touches, but the only passes that count are one touch. The first team to 21 one touch passes wins. It is important to note that if one team turns the ball over at 7 first time passes (or any number of passes), they continue from 7 when they regain possession of the ball. This is probably my favorite game for teaching one touch soccer, because it allows the players to be creative when necessary and helps them recognize when they must continue the flow of the game.