Iona Football Club Home Training Program

This program is designed to allow you to practice the technical skills that will help you develop as a footballer. The ability to execute the right technique at the right time in the right part of the field is when it becomes a skill. This is the master key to match-winning football players.

If players can complete this program three times a week, it will make a massive difference to their development as a footballer.

Level 1 – Introduction to Ball Mastery

Reason for learning: Ball Mastery is a foundational skill for players of all ages that enhances two of the core skills of Football: First Touch and 1 v 1.

In the first of three videos players are introduced to Toe Taps, Sole Taps, the Slide, Pull Push and the Scissor movement. The final skill, the Toe Tap Slide, is a combination movement which is expanded on in future training videos.

Players are encouraged to complete Ball Mastery skills as often as possible to supplement their existing training program. They can even be used as a warm-up for organized training sessions. Three times a week is our recommended minimum.

The home training program is designed to be completed in a confined space of a backyard or indoors in a garage or under a carport.

The sessions need to be both challenging and fun. For example, once players achieve a basic level of competence in Toe Taps they can challenge themselves to achieve a set number of touches (60 or more) in a 20-second sprint. This increases both the skill level and aerobic output of the player.

Level 2 – Ball Mastery

In Part 2 of the series, players are introduced to Slide Tap, Cutting, V-Pull Push, Drag Back and Advanced Sole taps.

In this video players who have achieved a level of competence in static ball mastery are encouraged to build on their base-level skills and add dynamic movements and combination movements to their skill set.

Similar to the Introductory video, this session needs to be both challenging and fun. Players should take their time concentrating on their footwork, balance and peripheral vision.

As players develop competence and their confidence builds they need to make sure they are spatially aware, not continually looking at their feet in preparation for dynamic movements to be executed against an opponent.

It is recommended that each Level 2 skill should be practised for a minimum of two minutes per skill split evenly between the strong and weak feet. As a coaching tip encourage players to attempt skills with the weak side first when their motivation and concentration is highest. Set individual challenges to keep it fun and avoid going stale.

The great Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo practices his ball mastery skills every day.

Level 3 – Ball Mastery

Part 3 of this series of videos focuses on a combination of Ball Mastery movements such as the V-Pull Push Drag, the Dribble Cut, and the Dribble Cut & Spin — a move made famous by French footballer Zinedine Zidane.

Mastery of the skills in these videos is achieved when players are capable of demonstrating each skill with speed and fluidity. This will only be achieved with correct footwork, balance and timing which are the three key elements of being a successful player. There are no shortcuts to mastering these skills. They require commitment, concentration and dedication to perfecting correct technique.

Time spent developing correct technique during the foundation stages of learning Ball Mastery is rewarded as players continue to develop and use them in simulated game training sessions.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi

Level 4 – Passing

Part 4 of this series of videos focuses on another core skill of Football — Striking the Ball. 

In this video, the emphasis is on passing the ball. This session focuses on the key components of making a pass.

  1. Correct placement of the support foot;
  2. Locked ankle;
  3. Contacting the ball with the flat inside part of your foot;
  4. Follow through in the air.

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