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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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
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 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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