Soccer drill for holding off opponents

This soccer coaching session will improve your player’s technique when holding off an opponent and help to develop their strength and confidence to hold on to the ball.
Ball shielding soccer coaching session

Set up the soccer drill

  • In an area (20 yards x 20 yards) players pair up and play for 30 seconds with one player the attacker and one the defender.
  • The attacker must dribble and keep the ball away from the defender.
  • Players should take turns as the attacker and the defender.

Develop the soccer drill

The players form a circle and each player places a ball on a cone. One player is nominated as the defender and has to knock a ball off a cone in order to get out of the pitch.

The soccer player whose ball is knocked out must enter the pitch and try to knock a different ball out.

When the time runs out, the defender left in the middle has a forfeit to do – this adds a fun element to the soccer coaching session. With my players we use these forfeits – players can choose one of the three categories:

  • Pop Idol – player must sing for 10 seconds.
  • Strictly Come Dancing – player must dance for 10 seconds.
  • X Factor – player must sing and dance for 10 seconds.

Tony Carr is the Academy Director of West Ham United in the English Premier League and the editor of the Smart Sessions soccer coaching plans – they come in advanced and core versions. You can get Smart Sessions dropping into your inbox every week by clicking here.



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