Jockeying is a term often used in youth soccer drills, but what does it mean? A good definition of jockeying is that it coaches players in the skill to delay an opponent who has the ball and helps force the direction of play by denying opponents time and space.
The way to explain jockeying to your players is that you want them to delay an attack by stopping the ball from being played towards your goal without actually tackling the player.
Body position is important in this soccer drill
- Stay within touching distance of the attacker.
- Keep body between attacker and goal.
- Have a slightly sideways-on body position in the drill.
- Get low and bend knees.
- Stay balanced and on toes.
- Watch the ball.
- Don’t dive in – track the attacker.
- Force the attacker sideways/away from goal/on to weak foot/down the line etc.
How to run the soccer drill
- Set up a 10 by 20 yard grid with one ball and three players for this soccer (football) drill.
- The defender, standing approximately 10 yards opposite the attacker, passes the ball to their opponent.
- The attacker must attempt either to dribble past the defender or pass to a target player at the far end.
- The defender must win the ball, knock it out of play or delay the attacker for five seconds in the drill.
Use the drill skills in a small-sided soccer game
Play a continuous 4v4 game with one goalkeeper. Players line up in their teams and start from the edge of the penalty area. Each player has a turn at attacking in a 1v1 situation. After the attack, the defender returns to his team while the attacker becomes the defender, ready to face the next attack.
The attacker must score to win a point in this soccer (football) drill, while the defender gets a point if they win the ball, knock the ball out of the penalty area or prevent the attacker shooting for five seconds.
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Click here for a passing, pressuring and jockeying soccer drill.