1v1 Dribbling (Intent to Eliminate)
Box Moveà (Ball centered)à Ball is touched quickly from inside of one foot to inside of the other foot.
Key Technical Points – Toe up on both feet when touching the ball, bent knees, quick lateral movement of both feet/legs, ball should travel in a straight line directly across the body and in a straight line forward.
Key Tactical Points – Box move is typically used for defenders that are over-committing or “diving-in”, along the side or end line, or to create an angle to make a pass. The ball should travel in an “L” motion and/or 2 lines that make a 90-degree angle. (Using the corner of the 18 or 6-yard box is helpful when practicing and can be used as a visual aid during the learning process.)
Progression – “Hip Swivel” (see Move #5) manipulation of the ball.
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Scissorà (Body/Feint centered)à One foot is used to step from inside to outside by having the foot travel in front of the ball in a circular motion followed by the outside of the other foot pushing the ball in the opposite direction.
Key Technical Points – Ball starts near center line of body, heel stays close to ball for fast, small “scissor”, shoulder of side doing scissor drops(right foot scissor, right shoulder drop), as weight shifts opposite knee bends upward, toes down and ball is pushed diagonally, scissoring (now plant foot), pushes off for acceleration.
Key Tactical Points – Attacker will need to unbalance defender by initial “scissor”. Short, quick dribble touches=smaller, quicker scissor movement (“heal close to ball”). Long, slower dribble touches/stride=larger, slower scissor movement.
Progression – Double Scissor & incorporation of arm swing to further “sell” the feint. Can also simulate the technical movement patterns involved with shooting and further unbalancing the defender
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Shoulder Feintà (Body/Feint centered)à Shoulder is dropped and outside of opposite side foot is used to push the ball diagonally away from the defender.
Key Technical Points – “Hard” step/feint in opposite direction to unbalance defender, slight turn/lowering of hip in direction feinting, ball is pushed with opposite foot with toe down and turned slightly inward.
Key Tactical Points – “Selling” the feint, get defender to step in wrong direction, explosive movement in opposite direction.
Progression – Swing arm as if shooting, drop shoulder, push ball opposite direction.
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Sole Rollà (Ball centered)à Ball is rolled across the body using one foot and then pushed with the inside of the other foot.
Key Technical Points – Ball must start on one side of the body, toe up when rolling ball, opposite foot in ready position to push ball straight forward using inside of foot with toe up. Ball should make 90 degree angle or L type direction when completed.
Key Tactical Points – Used when defender has over-committed or is “diving-in”. Can be used in tight space to eliminate a defender as well.
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Hip Swivelà (Ball centered)à Ball and foot are “one” when performing this move. Player should think as if he/she has Velcro on inside of foot and ball has a piece of Velcro on it. Ball is essentially pushed along the grass and stays attached to the inside of the foot.
Key Technical Points – Lower body awareness and hip flexibility, dexterity and looseness. Lateral ankle movement and balance are also critical.
Key Tactical Points – Should be utilized when dribbling forward diagonally from either central to wide areas or wide to central depending on the foot being used. Player in possession should can use the hip swivel as defender approaches from either weak side or strong (ball) side. Opening of hips before ball is maneuvered should simulate body positioning closely resembling a pass being made with inside of the foot in order to get the defender to take a step into the “passing lane”. Hips are then swiveled and ball is taken in the other direction.
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Stanley Matthewsà (Ball & Body/Feint centered)à Ball is touched diagonally forward across the body using the inside of the feet and immediately pushed the opposite way using the outside of the same foot.
Key Technical Points – Use of feints, knee bent, hop, explosive change of direction. Dynamic ankle flexion and extension (“toe-up/toe-down) are critical when doing effectively. 1st touch with inside needs to be soft, 2nd touch with outside can be harder due to attacker accelerating quickly in the opposite direction.
Key Tactical Points – Quick change of direction and speed. Attacker should watch defender and make sure he/she steps in direction of 1st Attack back/plant foot of defender.
Progression – Double Matthews can be performed by touching the ball 2x with the inside of the foot if the defender does not react or “fall” for the 1st
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Maradonaà (Ball centered)à Ball is rolled with the sole of one foot as the body turns and pivots on the ball. The other foot then immediately touches the top of the ball and rolled in a forward motion as the body is again facing forward (180 degree turn).
Key Technical Points – Full body awareness, balance, quick feet and hips, being light on one’s feet, good agility.
Key Tactical Points – The Maradona can be used to eliminate a defender 1v1 from both central and wide positions. It may also be utilized when trying to eliminate both a primary defender and covering defender whose positioning may be too close to the primary and/or at the wrong angle. Lastly, the Maradona can be performed as a “last resort” if a loose ball (that is at least >50 percent in the attacker’s favor of winning) is won and the move is quickly performed.
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Platinià (Body centered/Feint centered) à Ball is touched slightly forward with outside of the foot (set-up touch) and body positioning and preparedness is simulating that of a ball about to be struck for either a shot or long pass. Ball is then touched diagonally in the same direction as the defender either turns his body or jumps to block the “shot” or “pass”.
Key Technical Points – Softness of set-up touch, body control, quickness/change of speed
Key Tactical Points – Convincing the defender a powerful shot or long pass with instep is about to be taken. Basic mechanics of either skill (shot or pass) needs to be demonstrated in order for the defender to “take the bait”. Proper arm swing (opposite from shooting/passing leg) and back swing of shooting/passing leg is critical. Exaggerated facial expressions and breathing are often used for these explosive and anaerobic skills to be performed effectively.
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Messià (Body centered/feint)à Ball is touched slightly forward with the outside of the foot followed by an explosive step forward in front of the ball with the same foot. Ball should shift automatically to the outside of the other foot where it is touched laterally.
Key Technical Points – Body control, fast feet, ability to stop and go quickly, soft set-up touch. Forward body movement (lowering of hips, chest and head) is important.
Key Tactical Points – Making the defender believe speed is going to be used to eliminate him/her by taking a quick step forward without the ball. Used primarily for players positioned on their non-dominant foot in order to dribble centrally towards their opponent’s goal, not wide.
Progression – If defender does not fully commit and has angle to ball, getting one’s body in front with the non-dominant foot immediately after ball is touched with outside of foot. This will help maintain possession and/or make the defender commit a foul.
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Neymarà (Body centered/lower body feint)à As ball is in between the attacker’s feet, one leg will be brought backwards and up (about mid shin height) as if going to make a pass or touch forward with outside of foot. The foot off the ground will perform a fast “out-in-out” movement. (Similar to Platini)
Key Technical Points – Ball must be in between feet, hip flexibility, long yet quick stride, “get away” touch.
Key Tactical Points – From a standing and still position, getting defender to “freeze” or plant both feet at the same time.
Progression – If the defender commits to the body positioned to make a touch with the outside of the foot, an “inside cut” is then performed in the direction of the defenders back leg (opposite direction of defender movement).
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1v1 Dribbling (Intent to Turn)
Inside Cutà (Ball & Body/Feint centered)à When the ball is in front of the body, the inside of the foot is used to “chop” or “slice” the ball back towards the body and the opposite foot.
Key Technical Points – The player must use similar body mechanics to that of either taking a shot or serving a cross. At the last second, the foot in motion will travel outside of the ball and quickly touch the front of the ball using the inside of the foot and it will roll back to the body. Body control is essential and wasted movement will limit success.
Key Tactical Points – The attacking player must use body positioning and feints to make the defender flinch, turn or jump as he/she would do when shooting or crossing. After the successful “inside” cut, player should then accelerate into the space they want to exploit.
Progression – In the event the “inside cut” does not work (depends on defender experience), the attacker may then perform a second “inside cut” with the other foot in succession.
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Outside Chopà (Ball & Body/Feint centered)à When the ball is in front of the body, the outside of the foot is used to “chop” or “slice” the ball back directly backwards towards the same side of the body.
Key Technical Points – As a defender approaches, the foot will travel over the ball bringing the knee up and the outside of the foot will “slice” down on the front side of the ball. At the conclusion of this quick move, the player’s body positioning should look as though he/she is making an inside of the foot pass. Hip dexterity and body control are essential and wasted movement will limit success.
Key Tactical Points – Outside chop should be used when (1) a defender approaches and the player in possession must turn away from pressure and (2) when the player in possession wants to “switch the point of attack” and (3) when a defender over commits from a bad angle and thus can be eliminated using an “outside chop-turn”. As in most attacking oriented dribbling, player should then accelerate into the space they want to exploit.
Progression – In the event the “outside chop” does not work (depends on defender experience), the attacker may then perform a second “outside chop” with the other foot in succession. #2 – if a defender overcommits as the attacker is dribbling diagonally, the “outside chop-turn” can also be used to eliminate him/her. Composure and timing are critical.
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“L” Moveà (Ball centered)à When the player dribbling puts his foot on the ball, rolls it back between his/her legs and is then flicked with the inside of foot to the opposite side. Two distinct different touches are used with two different parts of the foot.
Key Technical Points – Player must again be “light” on their feet with knees bent in order to get the appropriate touch with the bottom/sole of the foot and then the inside of the foot. The dribbler must have the ball out in front in order to “pull” it back inwards and then flick it behind the heal of the opposite foot while keeping the plant foot (opposite foot) on the ground. The entire plant foot must remain on the ground. When done incorrectly the heel will come up. The flick part of the sequence is done using the “inside knuckle” of the big toe to be exact. The flick should also turn the toe and ankle slightly inward as the knee comes up. Balance is another critical motor skill as the player is on only one foot for the duration of the move.
Key Tactical Points – The “L” move can be used to change direction when dribbling and a defender cuts off a passing or shooting angle. It usually requires a defender over-committing to one side or “diving-in” when the ball is pushed off the lead foot.
Progression – #1 – Similar to other dribbling moves and skills, the application of the arm and leg backswing can further increase the effectiveness of the move as the motions (simulating a shot being taken) can slow down an opponents ability to defend properly as the brain their must process what the attacker might do. #2 – The “L” move can be done as one fluid movement in a quicker fashion as the bottom of the foot rolls the ball outward (not backward) and is then seamlessly transitioned to the inside of the foot without ever losing touch of the ball. #3 – The “L” move can be used as a quick pass out of tight space with then the player on the ball needs to create an angle or lane to find a teammate. Instead of a soft flick when using it as a dribbling move, a longer backswing of the leg and stronger flick of the ball is needed for the pass.
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Inside “V” (Puskas)à (Ball centered)à When the player dribbling puts the sole of the foot on the ball and then pushes the ball with the inside of the same foot in a “V” or “L” shape.
Key Technical Points – For the “V”, player must be light on their feet. Toe-up when pulling the ball back into the body, opening and swiveling the hip as the ball is moved from the sole/bottom of the foot to the inside. For the “L”, ball is simply pulled back past the plant foot, and then pushed to the (same) side with the inside of the foot. Move must be done quickly.
Key Tactical Points – The “V” is most effective when the attacker is dribbling at a defender from an angle. As the ball is touched forward with the lead foot (“baiting” the defender) and the defender reaches in the ball is pulled back into the body and immediately pushed out on an angle to eliminate the committed defender. The “L” is most effective when a defender is coming from the side or even behind the attacking player with the ball. The attacking player must have good field awareness and vision as the defender will be coming from an angle that is either slightly in his/her peripheral vision or out of view completely. When the “L” is performed correctly, it will be at the last second as the unsuspecting defender approaches and will subsequently run right by the player dribbling not expecting the move or trying to get into a better defensive position.
Progression – Player should try to incorporate a natural upper body and lower body fake/feint by simulating a shot being taken. This is most effectively done when the arm (opposite side from shooting leg) and leg are swung backwards in a shooting motion. Practicing these two moves will also help young players develop the essential mechanics in shooting with technical proficiency. There should also be a small “hop” in between touches to increase speed of movement. The “V” can also be performed by pulling the ball backwards and then pushing the ball with the outside (rather than inside) of the same foot with the toe down and slightly in. T
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Outside “V”à (Ball centered) à Similar to the inside “V” (Puskas), the Outside “V” is performed using both and takes a considerable amount of both lower body and upper body coordination in order to be done effectively. It also helps young players develop quicker feet as well as their ability to use both feet in tight space situations in games.
Key Technical Points – The attacking player needs to again be light on his/her feet with knees bent. With the ball slightly angled out from the body, the near side foot will “pull” the ball back into the body basically using the bottom of the “big toe”. The ball is then transitioned to the other foot and pushed with the outside. The entire body should take a small hop backwards as the ball is pulled. 2nd touch with outside of the foot needs to be slightly longer in order to eliminate the defender or set up a pass or shot. Hips and shoulders should be in sync in their movement.
Key Tactical Points – The “V” move is mainly used when defenders are within the normal 2 yard distance and the attacker needs to create space in order to (1) turn away from pressure (2) create a passing angle (3) or create increased distance between the attacker and defender to eliminate 1v1 with a subsequent move.
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Dragbackà (Ball centered)à The “dragback” is a common move when trying to master dribbling skills as well as in game situations. It is another move where flexibility in ones hips and balance are essential.
Key Technical Points – When the ball is in front of the body, the foot used to turn will extend and be place on top of the ball. The entire arch of the foot needs to be on the ball to get a proper and long enough roll when bringing it closer to the body and subsequently past the line of the plant leg. As the ball is rolled backwards, the plant foot will also simultaneously become the pivoting force allowed the body to turn a complete 180 degrees and end up facing the opposite direction. If the right foot is performing the dragback, then the right shoulder should be the side dropping or turning (opposite of the Pullback). *Note-the ball is not rolled between the legs. Instead the ball is rolled along an imaginary “line” across the front of the body and can be seen in its entirety for the duration of the move.
Key Tactical Points – The dragback can be used to turn in the opposite direction when no forward attacking options are immediately present. It is also used to precede a cross being delivered as it allows for an opening of the hips which is needed for the initial stages of the skill that ends with the hips needing to “close” at the conclusion of the movement.
Progression – A “double dragback” can be performed by doing two dragbacks in sequential order. This is done by using one foot to do the initial dragback (the attacker is usually now facing one’s own goal) and then the other foot to go in the original direction(the attacker is now facing the opponents goal). *The backswing of both the arm and leg can be useful tools when performing this skill.
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Pullback (toe)à (body centered)à The player in possession will bring the ball back into his/her body when trying to switch the point of attack or turn away from.
Key Technical Points – When dribbling and a change of direction is needed, the player will put the bottom of their foot on the ball and “pull” it into their body. The “pull” part of the move is basically done with the bottom of the big toe. As the foot is about to touch the top of the ball, the player should pretend they are going to take a shot with the toe down but the ankle must remain loose (the opposite from shooting). When the toe touches the ball, it should immediately be pulled into the body as plant foot moves backward in a hopping motion to increase the speed of the movement & skill. If the player pulls the ball with the right foot, their left shoulder will be the side turning in a backward motion (opposite of the Dragback). The outside of the opposite foot should be used to take the ball away.
Key Tactical Points – The Pullback is often used when forward attacking options are not a available and a defender is pressuring quickly. The hop part of the move is oftentimes needed in order for the player in possession to quickly get the ball off their feet and passed to an open teammate. It can also be used as a player in a central position needs to turn quickly approximately 180 degrees and play the ball to the opposite side of the field they originally intended.
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Stepoverà(body centered)à The player in possession will step “over” (around the ball is more accurate a description) in order to turn in the opposite direction.
Key Technical Points – When dribbling, the player must first have the ball the correct distance from the body (not under the body OR too far away) in order for the desired results to take place. When stepping over (or around) the ball, the leg must move quickly in front of the ball with the same foot planting quickly on the ground and then with the outside of the same foot (toe down), quickly turn in that direction (right foot stepoveràright side turn).
Key Tactical Points – The stepover can be used in a variety of on the field situations. It is also very help when trying to incorporate more hip movement in a players style. Situation #1 – A long ball is played over an outside backs head making him/her dribble and face their own goal. As the attacking player pressures from behind, the defender will quickly perform the stepover and turn to the outside when the attacker gets too close. The defender must “sell” the move by looking as if he/she is going to pass the ball back to their goalkeeper or dribble centrally.
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Cruyffà (Ball centered)à The player in possession of the ball can use the Cruyff move by swinging the foot in front of the body in a shooting motion and then flicking the ball in between the legs to then turn in the opposite direction.
Key Technical Points – Similar to when use the “inside cut” or “outside chop”, the player dribbling must use movements similar to shooting, crossing or long passing in order best disguise the move. Arm swing and leg swing will assist in faking out the defender. As the foot travels in front of the ball, the toes will turn in (covering front of the ball), and the ankle will help flick the ball backwards. Pivoting on the opposite plant foot is crucial. The ball should travel in the exact opposite direction and the player should then take the ball with the outside of the opposite (non-flicking) foot in order to dribble into space as quick as possible.
Key Tactical Points – The Cruyff can be used to unbalance a defender or to simply turn and switch the point of attack. The attacker must consider spacing of defender and when to actually perform the skill. Needs to be done quickly.
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Timed Battery Tests
“V” Moves à
“L” Moves à
Drag-Stops (2R/2L) à
“Figure 8’s” à
Inside-Outside (1 foot) à
Inside-Outside (both feet) à
Pullbacks (1 or 2 feet) à