Coaching your players to use step-over shielding the ball skills is a good way to get them defending against bigger attackers. It doesn't matter how big the opponents are, if your players step across and put their shoulders in the way, the opponents are going to have to foul to get the ball. Use the following soccer drill to boost players' confidence and skills.
Soccer drill set up
- Put two players at opposite ends of a small grid. One player passes to the other player, then walks towards the receiver to start shutting him down. Get a small player to shield from a bigger player.
- The receiver steps across the ball to put himself between the opponent and the ball – and ends up with his back foot (the foot farthest from the opponent) resting on top of the ball. Once your players have this basic idea then its time to make actual contact with the opponent.
- Show your players how their shoulder makes contact with their opponent (get the shielding player to bump into the opponent), transferring weight to front foot so that back foot is free to pass/control ball.
Return to the grid and allow players to practise making the shoulder-to-shoulder contact. Your players need to hold the opponent on one shoulder get their heads up, look for, and pass to, a team-mate.
Click here for tips on coaching step-over shielding the ball skills.
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