Basic Soccer Skills

Dribbling

Basic Soccer Skills

Of all basic soccer skills, dribbling is probably the most fundamental. Dribbling involves keeping the ball moving between the player’s feet by kicking it from one foot to the other. Soccer players can dribble completely in place or can move slightly with the ball, focusing on keeping it under their feet entirely.

By keeping the ball under the feet, athletes protect it from defenders and prevent the ball from being stolen easily. Dribbling keeps the ball in motion and allows athletes to pass it if necessary in order to stay on offense. Dribbling is also the basis of other basic soccer skills.

To be successful at dribbling, there are a few tips all soccer players should know. Athletes should work on dribbling with different parts of the feet in order to beat defenders. Instead of always dribbling with the instep, players should practice dribbling with the outside of the foot and the inside heel area. This, along with increasing speed, will help players beat defenders.

 

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Passing

Though it might make sense at first to be moving when it comes time to pass, soccer players should actually be stopped before passing. To do this, players should plant one foot on the ground, facing the direction they wish to pass. With the inside of the free foot, the athlete should connect with the ball and bring the leg through, giving the ball momentum and propelling it toward the target.

It is possible to pass with different areas of the foot, such as the top, bottom, or outside, but the inside of the foot allows for maximum control in aiming and is most commonly used. Players should avoid passing with the toe, as it usually keeps the ball on the ground, slowing its progress and making it easier for a defender to intercept it.

When passing, players must understand their relationship to other players and how their pass is going to affect the game. Because passes stop the forward movement, players have to anticipate where defenders will be when the ball reaches its target. Players should ensure that there are no defenders available to steal the ball prior to passing it, and they have should a plan ready in case the ball does not reach its target.

Shooting

Shooting a soccer ball for a goal takes concentration and much practice to be effective and accurate, but all soccer players can master this youth soccer skill with a few tips. To shoot the ball, players should plant their weak foot next to the ball. The foot should be pointing in the general direction that the ball will be kicked, but it does not have to be perfectly aligned, as the kicking foot will do the aiming.

When practicing basic soccer skills, athletes should practice good form. For shooting, athletes should let the strong leg swing back and forward toward the ball, making contact with the inside of the foot. The player’s foot should be pointed down so that they can aim. Aiming is difficult because it happens with the toe. If the big toe points to the right, the ball will go to the right, or vice-versa.

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