Fundamental Touches

Before we dive into practicing and developing F.F.Ps, it is worth spending a bit of time on fundamental touches. The most important of these are:

Push and Chop Touches


Push and chop touches really strip back technique to the absolute technical fundamentals. These types of touches will be practiced naturally as a player develops their footwork, so it should not be necessary to do any individual work on them, but being aware of them won't do any harm.

In very simple terms :

  • 'Chop' touches 'Stop the ball' or cause 'sharp changes of direction'.
  • 'Push' touches allow the ball and the body to move together as one connected unit.
    • This is great for fluid movement on the ball, acceleration on the ball and running with the ball at speed.
These fundamental Touches are looked at in the videos below using simple ball mastery exercises, and also quickly looked at in a game.

Inside Chop - Inside Push



Outside  Chop - Outside Push





A Release Touch

A third type of fundamental touch is a release touch. A release touch aims to get the ball away from the body - to disconnect the ball and the player. 


The reason that this is important to appreciate is due to the fact that having an understanding of all the different types of fundamental touches will help you identify technical errors at a fundamental level. 


 A player might be slow to accelerate off a little toe touch (A Possible error might be that a player is  not pushing through the ball in a natural way when accelerating), or



A player might have a 'heavy' touch when moving the ball (that is, heavily chopping the ball instead of pushing it, or accidentally turning a push touch into a release touch (a heavy touch) and losing the ball whilst moving it as a result.




In all cases, a mistake on the ball, might be caused by something that is fundamentally wrong in how the player is interacting with the ball when moving it.



A bottom of the foot touch

A bottom of the foot touch is the forth type of Fundamental Footwork Touch, but isn't as fundamental as the first 3 (in that it isn't used as much as the  chop, push and release) although it is still a critically important part of the foot to learn how to use well.









A fifth and sixth fundamental touch

Some might argue that the heal is the fifth and the toe poke the sixth fundamental touch, but it would be hard to consider these as fundamental touches as they are not used enough when playing, although as the videos show, they do have a place in the game.







Finally note:

We are only looking at footwork here.

There are obviously other types of critically important touches that use other body parts (head, chest, and thigh etc) but we are only looking at footwork.