EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Cruyff turn

Named after the legendary 1970s Holland international Johan Cruyff, this turn is ideal for losing a defender and creating space in a tight situation.

What this session is about

  1. Shaking off a close defender.
  2. Creating space.
  3. Changing the direction of play.

What to think about

  • Plant non-kicking foot to one side and just ahead of the ball.
  • Feint to pass or cross.
  • Bend knees.
  • Body weight on non-kicking foot.
  • Turn kicking foot inward with toe down.
  • Using inside of kicking foot to drag ball behind the standing leg.
  • Change direction and accelerate away.

Set-up

  • 1 ball.
  • Cones approximately 5 metres apart.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Two players stand at one cone and take it in turns to dribble at half pace with the ball to the second cone, perform a turn then come back. The second player repeats.

Make sure players practice turns using both feet. Follow the steps on the previous page to execute the turn properly.

Pretend to kick the ball but move the foot over the top and drag through the legs.

Pretend to kick the ball but move the foot over the top and drag through the legs.


Development

Players stand at opposite cones. Players take turns to run to the second cone, perform the turn just in front of the other player and return to their cone.

Now Player 2, acting as a defender, applies a little pressure by taking a step or two towards Player 1 when they begin their dribble. Players should alternate roles.

Practice the turn against a passive opponent.

Practice the turn against a passive opponent.


Game situation

Keeping the set-up the same, the players now position themselves opposite each other with the cones to the right and left and of them.

Using a combination of turns and fakes to outsmart their opponent, Player 1 has to reach either cone and stop the ball beside it with the sole of the foot before Player 2 can reach that cone and touch it with their own foot.

Use turns and feints to beat the opponent to either of the cones.

Use turns and feints to beat the opponent to either of the cones.


What to call out

  • “Slow down – get the technique right first”
  • “Attack the turn”
  • “Sprint away”
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