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How To - Step By Step Soccer Moves

Ever wondered what makes great soccer moves actually great? Is it their quickness, is it the outstanding ball control that the dribbler needs to possess in order to pull them off, or is it simply seeing the look on the poor defender’s face when he gets his ankles twisted by the move?

I’ll tell you what makes them great: it’s the countless hours that those outstanding dribblers out there put in their practice that allow them to perform seemingly impossible moves with the ea...

step by step soccer moves, great soccer moves, advanced soccer moves

Ever wondered what makes great soccer moves actually great? Is it their quickness, is it the outstanding ball control that the dribbler needs to possess in order to pull them off, or is it simply seeing the look on the poor defender’s face when he gets his ankles twisted by the move?

I’ll tell you what makes them great: it’s the countless hours that those outstanding dribblers out there put in their practice that allow them to perform seemingly impossible moves with the ease of a rabbit hopping uphill. If you ever dreamt of being able to perform such great soccer moves, you’ll have to work hard to get them. And you can do so with the help of the following step by step soccer moves guide.

> Step by Step Soccer Moves – The Stepover and Double Stepover

This move has an affinity for players named Ronaldo (or is it vice-versa, I can’t remember), since both of today’s popular Ronaldos, the Brazilian striker – Nazario da Lima – and the Portuguese winger – Cristiano – tend to use it as their trademark move. It’s one of the advanced soccer moves you’ll be practicing, so don’t expect it to be snap-easy to master. Here’s how to perform the stepover, step by step (don’t worry, it takes fewer steps to perform it than the amount of steps in this sentence):

Step 1 – Get the ball close to your feet and have it slowly move forward, towards the direction you’re facing.

Step 2 – With your left foot, hover over the ball in a circular motion and plant it on the left side of the ball.

Step 3 – With the other foot, cut the ball to the right and go past your opponent.

Notes: Obviously, you can switch feet, I just used left first and right for the cut for clearer explanation purposes. If you want to perform a double stepover, or a triple stepover, instead of cutting with the base foot, you can use it to hover over the ball again and so forth.

> Step by Step Soccer Moves – The Sweep

Another advanced soccer move that won’t be easy to master, but then again you’re not here for your average stop and go. This move is extremely spectacular and at the same time effective. It can be used to great effect on the wings, or in the center of the park, to get past your direct opponent. It’s harder to perform on the edge of the penalty area, or inside it, because it’s a lot more crowed there.

This great soccer move doesn’t really have a player that you could say branded it, although Robbie Van Persie of Arsenal recently scored a magnificent goal in a match against Internazionale Milano with the help of a sweep dribble. But here’s the step by step on it:

Step 1 – Position yourself as you would pass the ball or shoot, with your base foot closer to the ball.

Step 2 – With your other foot, simulate a pass or shot.

Step 3 – When your faking foot reaches the ball, drag it along sideways, opposite of your base foot.

Notes: This is so efficient because the opponent will not know if you pass, shoot or dribble until you have already performed the dribble. For this to be completely effective, make sure you sweep the ball across in Step 3, not kick it in that direction, as dragging it gives you some precious time.

These advanced soccer moves are still quite situational, because you’ll need to have your opponents at a certain distance and position. For general purposes, a few easier dribbles such as the V-move, the stop and go or the fake shot will probably work better, but if you can pull off any of the advanced soccer moves above, you’re bound to get a standing ovation and possibly an assist or a goal, because they’re very surprising.

 

How To Develop Soccer Juggling Skills

Soccer Juggling – Introduction

Juggling is one of the most entertaining skills in soccer but ironically, a player rarely gets the chance to juggle, or have the reason to do so, during the match. A basic rule of soccer says that if you want your team to keep possession for as long as possible, and today’s game is based around prolonged possession, the ball must stay on the ground as much as possible. Obviously, while juggling you would have to lift it from the ground, which...

soccer juggling, soccer juggling skills

Soccer Juggling – Introduction

Juggling is one of the most entertaining skills in soccer but ironically, a player rarely gets the chance to juggle, or have the reason to do so, during the match. A basic rule of soccer says that if you want your team to keep possession for as long as possible, and today’s game is based around prolonged possession, the ball must stay on the ground as much as possible. Obviously, while juggling you would have to lift it from the ground, which is why the skill itself isn’t very useful in itself.

That’s the reason why a lot of coaches tend to dismiss it or overlook it in training sessions, thinking that they’d rather train the players to something that has practicable use in a match. And that’s what I believe to be one of the biggest mistakes in coaching, especially in youth coaching: ignoring soccer juggling training.

To back up my claims, I’m going to show you exactly why soccer juggling is so important and also tell you how to juggle properly and a couple of ways to train it individually, with a teammate or in a group.

Soccer Juggling – Why is it Important?

You won’t find yourself juggling in almost any situation on the pitch (unless maybe if you want to humiliate your opponents or the likes), but that doesn’t mean soccer juggling shouldn’t be trained. In fact, it’s one of the skills that are amongst the easiest to train and not only that, but you’ll also see the results very quickly.

Juggling affects an array of peripheral skills and most importantly, it’s fun! Learning and developing as a soccer player with exercises that are hard or boring isn’t the best way to do so, but if you can train and have fun at the same time, that’s a proven golden recipe. Here are some of the skills that are most visibly improved with the help of juggling:

Ball Control – Probably the skill that improves most with juggling is ball control. Doing constant juggling exercises, you’ll learn exactly how strong to tip the ball with your foot to stay within your range, which is basically what ball control is all about.

While juggling, you also get what I like to call “foot confidence” and you’ll soon learn to control the ball without actually having to focus on the trapping itself. This is extremely important since it permits you to control the ball naturally, allowing you to use those extra 2 seconds you would need to focus on receiving the ball, to already look up a player to pass it to.

Agility – While juggling, you will have to make quick adjustments to your body in order to keep the ball in mid air. In the long run, this improves your agility and you’ll be able to gain control of the ball faster in a match, in situations where lightning reflexes are needed. It also helps you with performing faster direction changes, which is great to have when dribbling the ball past an opponent.

Trapping and Receiving – This applies especially for balls coming at you in mid air that you need to gain control of. Soccer juggling allows you to quickly judge how soft or hard you need to hit the ball, in order for it not to get out of your body’s reach. Although having to trap a long ball with your thigh or foot won’t be the same as having to juggle a ball at the same height with your thigh or foot, it’s still a good basis to learn how to perfectly execute these moves.

These are the skills that can be worked out with the help of soccer juggling that have the most visible effect, but obviously, juggling affects a lot of other skills to a smaller extent. So now that you know how important juggling is, let’s see how you can train it and how to juggle correctly.

Soccer Juggling – How to Juggle Correctly

The fun thing about soccer juggling is that there’s no real “right” technique to do it. You can juggle with your instep, outside or inside of foot, back heel, head, hip, thigh or shoulder, as long as you keep the ball in the air, it’s correctly done. However, if you want to focus on improving the skills I mentioned above, it’s a good idea to try to follow a few juggling patterns.

Start off by juggling with your strong foot. When you can 50 to 100 juggles just using your strong foot without too much of a hassle, start the same process, but this time use your weaker foot. Again, once you’re confident you can do 50 to 100 juggles with your weaker foot, start alternating between them.

When you can do 100 or more alternative juggles (meaning that there’s no left-left or right-right juggle combination in that 100 or more), start practicing with your stronger foot’s thigh, then your weaker foot’s thigh and finally, your head.

Once you get a good grip of all these sub-exercises for juggling, simply play with the ball and juggle it with whichever body part comes comfortable. If you’re at this stage in juggling, where you can seemingly juggle forever and not drop the ball, you’ve already improved your other skills a great deal, so those hours of practice will finally pay off. It’s getting here that’s the hard part though…

Soccer Juggling – Drills

I covered how to juggle individually in the section above, so if you’re willing to spend some extra time off the training hours to improve yourself and your soccer juggling skills on your own, you should follow up that routine. As a coach however, you’ll want to have your players working on juggling during the practice sessions as well and it’s best if you combine allowing them to juggle individually, with working in pairs and/or groups.

In order for them to practice their soccer juggling skills in pairs, you should try to hand pick the pairs with height and juggling skill in mind. You’ll want players with close heights to work together and not pit someone that’s a foot taller against a smaller teammate because it might disrupt the exercise. You’ll also want to have players with close juggling skills working together, pairing up less skilled players to allow them to work on their juggling skills without hindering another player’s exercise.

Think of what would happen if a less skilled juggler would be paired up with a highly skilled one…obviously, the highly skilled one would hardly improve his own juggling technique, since he would constantly have to wait for the less skilled teammate to catch up.

The pair exercise is simple. The players will have to pass the ball onto one another, in mid air, being allowed a maximum of three touches of the ball. Encourage them to pass the ball with different parts of the foot, their thighs and head, so they gain ball control with all of these areas.

You can also spice things up by offering small rewards and “punishments”, for example the pair that manages to keep the ball in the air longer, gets some sort of reward, or each time a player drops the ball to the ground, he should do 10-20 push ups, then continue with the exercise.

Also work on your players’ juggling skills in groups larger than a pair. You can accommodate the windmill exercise to juggling training to some extent. In a windmill exercise, 4-6 players sit in a row, with another 4-6 in front of them. The first player from row A passes the ball to the first player from row B, then quickly moves to the back of the row. The receiving player from row B passes the ball back to the next player in row A and moves to the back of his own row, and so forth.

It’s a very dynamic exercise that involves several of your players at the same time, so if you want to accommodate it for juggling, tell your players to pass the ball in mid air instead of on the ground, with a minimum of two touches and a maximum of three. Not only will this improve your players’ juggling skills, but it will also simulate how you would use your juggling skills in a real match scenario, where the ball is coming in mid air from a teammate or an opponent, unlike when you’re juggling individually and the ball comes at you vertically.

 

How To Find A Top Quality Soccer Ball

It is widely considered the most popular game on earth. Played by millions of people from nearly every walk of life, and in nearly every nation, soccer – football or futbol as it is commonly known beyond the borders of the United States – is a sport that can be played by nearly anyone. Aside from the skills needed to maneuver the ball using your body, but not your hands – except for the goal keeper – soccer owes much of its international appeal to the fact that all you need t...

soccer, soccer ball

It is widely considered the most popular game on earth. Played by millions of people from nearly every walk of life, and in nearly every nation, soccer – football or futbol as it is commonly known beyond the borders of the United States – is a sport that can be played by nearly anyone. Aside from the skills needed to maneuver the ball using your body, but not your hands – except for the goal keeper – soccer owes much of its international appeal to the fact that all you need to play is an open space and a single ball.

The mountains of equipment needed to play other sports – like tennis, golf, baseball, American football, and so many others – are an anathema to the soccer player. It is the ball, and only the ball, that one needs to play the game. But the soccer ball is not a generic item; there are many kinds of soccer balls on the market, and each has its own characteristics that differentiate it from the other balls.

At first glance it is hard to tell one soccer ball from another. Usually constructed in the same distinctive style, the trademark pentagonal and hexagonal panels make a soccer ball instantly recognizable. However, when you are trying to tell the difference between one ball and another, the first place to start is the cover.

In the past, full grain leather was used to make a top quality soccer ball, but real leather tends to absorb water easily, and a wet ball is a heavy ball that plays much differently than it was intended to play. Today, the first quality soccer balls are constructed from synthetic leather. Although there are many variations of synthetic leather, they are generally all a derivative of polyurethane or poly vinyl chloride. The best balls – those used in competition and by professionals – are almost always made of the polyurethane construction, while inexpensive practice balls are more likely to be poly vinyl chloride.

The way the panels of the soccer ball are stitched together is another indication of the quality of the ball. A high quality ball is going to be hand stitched with polyester cord or Kevlar reinforced polyester. Hand stitching allows the panels to be sewn tighter, which makes for a stronger and longer lasting soccer ball. Second-tier soccer balls are usually stitched as well, but the stitching is done by machine so it lacks the uncompromising quality that a hand stitched ball will possess. Inexpensive balls are usually not stitched at all, and instead are held together by gluing the panels onto the lining of the ball.

Soccer balls come in different sizes as well: Size 3, Size 4, and Size 5. Size 3 balls are the smallest balls and are typically used by players under the age of eight. Size 4 balls are the next size up, and players between the ages of eight and twelve use this size of ball. Size 5 balls are the standard size for adult play and are the standard size balls for all international play.

When shopping for a soccer ball it is important to have an eye for its size and construction. If you are unsure that the ball you are considering is of good quality, look to see if the ball is approved by either FIFA or NFHS. FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, and NFHS, the National Federation of State High School Association, both approve balls that meet the strict specifications that are outlined by each organization. If you purchase a ball that is approved by either governing body then you are almost assured of a ball that is of high quality in both construction and performance.




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