5 Touch Footy Drills You Can Do In Isolation | Men's Health Magazine Australia

5 Touch Footy Drills You Can Do In Isolation

You can’t play at the moment but you can run solo practice sessions at home or in the park so that by the time sport’s back you’ll be a better player than where you left off. Australian Men’s Open Touch Football Coach Phil Gyemore shares these five drills that can be done alone or with just one other person. All you need is a touch football and something to use as markers.

Drill 1: Ball Grip Strength

Equipment: 1 ball, 4 markers

Place all markers in a straight line, each marker 5m apart. Place a ball at the 2nd marker and stand at the 1st. Race to the first 5m marker to the stationary ball and pick it up with the one hand you’ve placed on top of the ball – don’t pick up it up from underneath and don’t use your other hand, which can be behind your back. Once you’ve secured the ball, run with it and place it at the next 5m marker. If you have a partner, continue to the last marker and tag your partner to repeat the same. (Note – use a smaller ball for young players.) Alternate using your right hand then left hand in the drill. Players move to the opposite line, and repeat when tagged. See how fast you can go.

Drill 2: Grip Adjustment

Equipment: 1 ball, 2 markers

Two players stand 2m to 5m apart, facing each other. The player with the ball throws it in the air above them and catches. While securing the ball, they need to rearrange their grip so they end up with thumbs on top, fingers underneath and palms spread before passing to their teammate. Repeat. Grip rearrangement needs to be executed without delay. (Note: In time, delete the ball toss into the air and simply vary the types of passes between partners, ie, low, high, spinning, etc.)

Drill 3: Scoring a Try, Dumping the Ball & Acting Half Scoop

Equipment: 1 ball, 4 markers

Place all markers in a square, each marker 5m apart. Stand at marker 1 with the ball. Start by racing to marker 2, then turn to run diagonally towards marker 3 but stop in the middle of the grid, before you get to marker 3, and score a try by placing the ball with 1 hand in the centre of all 4 markers. Leave the ball there and run to marker 3, then marker 4. Turn to run back through the centre of the grid to marker 1, but scoop the ball up when you get to it and keep running, trying to maintain good speed and fluency. Ultimately you’ll be running a figure of 8. Repeat. When dumping the ball in the middle of the grid, practice alternating hands for the scoring and the scooping. See how fast you can go.

Drill 4: Static Slide Dive

Equipment: 1 ball, 2 markers

Stand 3m from a “try line”. Hold the ball’s tip in one hand, angled slightly upwards. The hand the ball is in should be the hand that’s furthest away from your imaginary defender. Bend at the knees and hips to lower your centre of gravity towards the ground. Once lowered, launch yourself at the “try line”, reaching your non-ball-carrying hand out just in front of your shoulder. This hand placement helps control your body weight, preventing heavy impact with the ground. As your body weight lowers onto the grounded arm, bend at the elbow to absorb the weight and to assist in the slide. The arm carrying the ball should be outstretched and the ball grounded before the try line. This allows for your forward momentum to slide your outstretched arm with the ball across the try line.

Drill 5: 5-Metre Challenge

Equipment: 1 ball, 4-6 markers

For this challenge against a partner, create a square grid of 4 markers, each marker 5m apart. The objective is for the attacker to pick up the ball and beat the defender while they are trying to get back onside. To be onside, the defender needs to have both feet on or behind the line before they can affect the touch on the attacker. This will incorporate all of the skills above that have been practiced. Try a few of these variations to take on your partner in this fun game…


The attacker can only pick up the ball after:

-the defender has touched the ball with their hand;

-the defender has touched the ball with their foot;

-the defender has touched the shoulder of the attacker.

Make up your own variation of this game, such as the attacker facing away from their try line, and the defender touching the attacker on the shoulder.

+ a drill progression (Scissors, Paper, Rock – 5m Challenge)

A final version of the 5m Challenge is to have 2 try lines and both players standing in the middle facing each other. You need to establish the try line you are trying to defend and where you are trying to score. To work out who is attacking and who is defending, play scissors, paper, rock – the player who wins is the attacker and the player who loses is the defender.

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