Paying attention to the first touch will increase the player's ability to maintain possession, improve their speed of play, and allow them to be more successful at the higher levels. 'First touches' can be improved by planning things like where is the best place to go with your touch, how to take the first touch, which is the proper foot, how should my body be turned, etc.
Where is the best place to take your first touch? This space I call the "positive space" or the optimal space which allows the player more possession time. The positive space can be away from pressure, over pressure or by pressure. Players receiving the ball need to identify where the opposition is, where their own teammates are and how best to move the ball.
Seeing possible options prior to receiving the ball will give you the best chance to do this. Taking your touch out of pressure will give you additional time to make a better decision. Questions to ask yourself: Where is the pressure coming from? Where do I want to go? How do I want to take the ball and at what speed do I need to do it at? Do I need to change the point of attack? Do I want to attack the goal?