Awareness One Touch Theme Developmental Training: Incorporating Movement Off the Ball

This article is the intro to Wayne’s eBook 16: Soccer Awareness “One Touch” Training Developing its Relationship with Movement Off the Ball. This 103 page eBook explores one touch training and movement off the ball and includes 90 pages of drills that you can do with your team. Get the full book.

one touch training book

One Touch Training: Teaches the player WHEN to play one touch; and when NOT to play one touch. We are teaching players to have a ONE TOUCH MENTALITY. A One touch mentality teaches players to recognize the best options; and therefore make the best DECISIONS; BEFORE and in ADVANCE of receiving the ball.                                            

Movement OFF the ball: This mentality conditions the mind of players OFF the ball to position and move to help the player who is receiving the ball. This means we want players to always; at every moment; THINK:  “I only have One touch”; therefore this will force players to always do what I call the “LOOK and THINK” before they receive the ball to see several options and pick out their best option, which may actually be to DRIBBLE!!

When you use these training sessions consistently you will see the development of that relationship between having a ONE TOUCH mentality and Movement OFF the ball.
So in a nutshell:

  • LOOK (before receiving the ball);
  • MOVE (find space off the ball based on positioning of teammates and opponents):
  • THINK (what is my best option?):
  • EXECUTE (the Decision; or the SKILL Factor).


Players are generally all very good at playing using many touches; that is; dribbles, turns and running with the ball, that is more technical training / playing.  

But often not so good at one touch quick thinking and quick decision making training, that is more skill training / playing.

Hence why we must increasingly do this training with them.

For the ONE TOUCH AWARENESS training game with three teams that I want everyone to do each training session for 10 minutes; to ensure we improve the players quick thinking and decision making, as well as their awareness of how to get free OFF THE BALL, here are some more ideas with the same theme so you do not have to do the same game every training session.

This will also ensure the players do not get bored with the repetition of it all.

Really try to have the players play one touch but depending on their developmental level perhaps start with two touches for them to gain early success and to increase their confidence.

But, As Soon As You Can; Play One Touch Only

Please ensure you do this every session as it is imperative we work on this theme with them.

Coaches choose which session they use each training session please, there are many choices to go at for you.

Shown below are many variations of the theme but the simplest theme to use is focusing on:


Many may struggle with this but in time and with patience and practice you will be amazed how much improvement comes in quick decision making using this game. As each player only has one touch to pass the ball this should improve players movement off the ball to support due to this as they know the player receiving needs immediate help and as many options as possible. The two aspects of play go hand in hand, one touch play and movement off the ball.

Players in 90 minutes touch the ball themselves, depending on their position, perhaps 3 to 6 minutes, so what do they do in the other 84 to 87 minutes? 

They must understand how best to move OFF THE BALL in that time span to help their teammates. 

Hence why the focus and teaching of Movement OFF the ball is so vital and important in the greater scheme of things in the game.