There is nothing more satisfying than bending the ball from free-kicks or swerving it at goal from open play in and around the box. Watching a wall stretching up but unable to reach the ball as it hits the back of the net is the dream of every young player – and of every coach if they were really honest. MORE
Shielding the ball (U14 activity)
BALL CONTROL 5
Shielding the ball
KEEP IT CLOSE
“Keep your body between ball and opponent” • “Use touch to keep opponent at arms length” • “Keep the ball close to your body”
In a 10-yard square, player 1 rolls the ball to player 2’s feet and he shields the ball from the defender (3).
Player 2 keeps the ball on the foot furthest away from his marker on the half-turn to protect it.
The forward looks to touch the ball 10 times or retain possession for 15 seconds. This may mean moving with the ball away from the defender.
Initially, restrict the defender so the forward has the first touch unchallenged.
The exercise can be made more difficult for player 2 if player 1 throws the ball at his thigh or chest to control.
How many players do I need?
You can run this activity with three players, or two players if you are the server.