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How to improve first touch for U12s?

Does anyone have any tips / advice or good drills that can help improve first touch for under 12's age group? Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

Hi Barrie, the below drills can help you here.

Get players to work in pairs. The first player passes to their team-mate and calls out either "left" or "right". Depending on the call the receiving player has to use their first touch to move away from the imaginary defender and in the direction their partner called out (so left or right).

Could also set your players homework of improving their keepy uppies as this good for improving the feel for the ball and touch.

use a possesion drill 20x30 oblong zone use 1 player on each line of the zone pair up 2 or 3 pairs in the zone , they have to keep possesion they can use the players on the edges but if they do the ball must go back to the team that that played it out to the edge its good for first touch and possesion , add in 2 touch only 

Thanks Alex and Martin great ideas, I will use.

Play small side game & use a possession drill. Which team have the ball their first touch might be shifting, i mean they have to shift position with first touch .


2 ideas: 

a.) set 2 cones one in front of the other about a yard apart.  set up another pair of cones the same way about 5-10 yards away (so u have 1 line of 4 cones, 5-10 yards away from each other).  each player stands to the one side of the cones w/player #1 w/the ball.  plyr #1 passes to player #2, plyr #2 has to "trap" the ball by putting it though the cones 1-touch.  then meet the ball on the other side and pass it first time to plyr#1 who then does the same.  the drill cycles through in this way between the 2 players.  allot 15 mins for drill.  have players use inside of foot for "trapping", outside of foot. u can have then trap and pass with same foot, or opposite feet. 

b.) this less conventional, have ur players play 1 and 2 touch against a wall for 30 min/day 2x week on their own away from practice.  the exercise wud be to pick a spot along the floor of the wall and that is target #1 (a crack, paint, anything they can focus on).  stand 2-3 yards from wall and play 1 touch at that target for 3-5 min.  then 2 touch, 3-5 min.  then pick a target about hip height along the wall.  same thing, 1/2 touch 3-5 min.  then move back about 5 yards from wall and pick spot head height and repeat drill.  trapping with all parts of the body will be covered.  and 1 and 2 touch will improve quickly.

below a simple diagram of the 1st drill.

and make sure players are bouncing on the balls of their feet when they dont have the ball.  discourage standing flat-footed while waiting for the ball.

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