Teaching a One-Touch Mentality

The following is the introduction to a presentation on Teaching a One-Touch Mentality presented by Wayne Harrison, Founder of Soccer Awareness, at the international 2017 Derbystar Youth and Amateur Trainer Congress.

The full presentation can be download in the Soccer Awareness Training Center Featured Presentations Section.

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Soccer is a “Thinking” Game that Begins in The “Head” of Each Player.  With SOCCER AWARENESS we are developing the MIND of each player. 

What is the difference between a One Touch Mentality and Playing One Touch?

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So Lets Establish First:

  1. A 1 Touch Mentality Teaches: WHEN to play 1 touch; when NOT to play 1 touch. 
  2. NOT just about playing One Touch. 
  3. EVERY MOMENT PLAYERS THINK: “I only have One touch” this forces players to do “THE LOOK & THINK”.
  4. 1 Touch Mentality teaches recognition of the best OPTIONS / DECISIONS; BEFORE and in ADVANCE of receiving the ball.                
  5. Best decision may be actually to DRIBBLE or EVEN to SLOW the TEMPO!! 

Thinking ONE TOUCH on AND off the ball

I ask players to THINK in their head that on the ball they only have ONE TOUCH.

SCANNING: This CONDITIONS their mind to SCAN the field in ADVANCE of the ball even though in reality they may have many touches on the ball at that time. 

Players OFF the ball also will think “my teammate receiving the ball has only ONE touch to move it on”. So they scan too.

This in turn will challenge / condition their mind / force them to find the best space possible to help them. 

Therefore: THINKING ONE TOUCH helps the players OFF the ball as well as the one about to receive it and it speeds up decision making both on and off the ball.

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My OWN Thoughts and Experiences

  • SPEED OF PLAY: Professional level even in the 70s and 80s the game (1970s not 1870s) was very fast (it seemed at the time). The game now is MUCH faster still.
  •  I knew I had to LOOK AHEAD and in ANTICIPATION of the ball to be a real success.          
  •  I was never as good as I had hoped to be  
  •  WHY? Because my “One touch mentality” OR SCANNING ABILITY; wasn’t what it should be.
  •  WHO SHOWED ME THE IMPORTANCE OF IT?  Alan Ball, Ex-Arsenal, Everton; Blackpool and 72 caps for England and World Cup Winner in 1966.  The original Xavi model. He Became Player – Manager at Blackpool.     
  •  STARTED COACHING: I decided when I became a coach at youth level I would teach this  “THINKING GAME MINDSET”   
  •  Ironically; I am very good at this now !

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