Prevent players being pushed off the ball

A lot of soccer coaches complain their players get pushed off the ball too easily. It usually happens when the team in possession get into good positions on the pitch and an opposition defender comes over and takes the ball – not using skill, but with body weight. Use this 1v1 drill to help your players hold onto the ball.

Tips to keep possession

In young players keeping possession of the ball can sometimes seem a daunting task when faced with a determined defender. But if you get them used to holding on to the ball in 1v1 soccer drills, they will be better prepared for matches.

When one of your players, be it a winger, attacker or midfielder, is running with the ball, they should be ready for an opposition player to come in and lean into them to use their body weight. If your attacker also leans in, then they should be able to hold onto the ball, then accelerate away and either shoot or pass.

To practise these skills with your team, a good tip is to pair up players of similar size and speed, then use this simple soccer drill with players running in their pairs, one is an attacker the other a defender.

drill to get players resisting players with more body weight pushing them off the ball

  • Pass the ball into the path of the two running players.

  • The attacker must be strong, control the ball and get a shot in on goal.
  • The defender must try to lean into the attacker and force them off the ball.
  • If the attacker is strong enough to hold onto the ball the defender must combine with the goalkeeper to stop the ball going into the goal.