How do I teach and improve soft hands skill?

How do I teach and improve soft hands skill?

Any tips or drills for improving 'soft hands'?

Gary ThompsonCoach, England
ANSWERS
Bram van Asselt, England

One way of doing this is by using tennis balls during passing and receiving practices.

To stop the ball bouncing off you need to learn to absorb the ball ( soft hands)

This one is probaly the easiest to introduce during your normal training sessions.

Kind regards

Bram

Gary ThompsonCoach, England

Hi Bram

Thanks for that and thanks for taking the time to review my question.

I actually forgot about using tennis balls (slightly embarrassed to say that too). One or two of my own warm-up drills actually list the use of tennis balls for better control!

I concluded from my own training that any drill that requires receipt of the ball, particularly if you are in motion (e.g. receiving on the turn or posting up) is very good practice.

I guess what I was getting at though is how, technically, do you do soft hands? Do you loosen your hand grip a little, do you relax your wrists / foreams, etc, or is it actually the whole arm that has to 'give' a little?

I think it's a pretty tricky technique to master (I find it difficult anyway) because it depends on the speed of the ball. It's reactive (you have to react to the force of the ball and 'feel' the impact and respond accordingly). I guess the stiffness of your stick matters too. Finally you have to do all this in a split second!

Regards,
Gary

Chris MarriottCoach, Wales

Play a game and constrain that ball has to be received such that it remains in contact with the stick on first touch (not necessarily stopping the ball by the way!). Players will have to adapt to that rule/environment and will therefore learn to receive with soft hands.

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