How to coach your soccer players to jockey

Jockeying denies an opponent time and space and delays forward progress by steering opponents away from dangerous areas – at least that’s the theory. As with any soccer skill, jockeying has to be done correctly.

How to set it up

  • To coach your soccer players how to jockey, set up a 10-yard square.
  • Working in pairs, players start on opposite sides of the square.
  • The attacker attempts to dribble across the area, the defender tries to jockey him, forcing him out of either side of the area.

Getting it right

  • Start the soccer practice without any further instruction. Then, look at each player’s technique and coach them as necessary.
  • Perhaps the most important element of jockeying is the angle of approach.
  • The picture above shows you the correct and incorrect angles of approach.
  • Correct the angle of approach as necessary then address the other key elements of jockeying.

Speed of approach

  • Players should slow as they approach the attacker to help maintain balance.
  • “Don’t dive in” – there is no need to win the ball straight away.

Body position

Players should have their arms outstretched on either side, guiding the attacker to a safe part of the pitch. Think of a shepherd directing his flock.

This soccer session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly, this is an advisory subscription newsletter delivered straight to your email address.