Your Move…Make It Count
lesson three of our Six Steps To Success Program.
Today we focus on my favorite part of the game.
Moves 1V1. As we discussed in previous lessons soccer
is a fast placed game where often one possession
or one touch can change a game. The ability to gain
space to pass or shoot under pressure is critical
and is one of the most prized skills in the game.
The way to get this edge is to develop your moves.
Back when I was a player I
practiced my moves all the time. It was my passion.
I only wish we had access to these drills though
to help me improve that much quicker. No one broke
it down for us. We were on our own and if we happened
to get proficient at some of the moves we were
tagged as naturals and still left to stumble along
My point is that where once it was thought making
moves was a soccer gift from the gods we have
found easy to follow step by step ways to make
even the most complicated moves seem natural and
easy. Follow these drills, practice them often
and soon you and your friends will be having tons
of fun leaving defenders in your wake.
This Is For You Too!
players and coaches think our methods as designed
solely for attacking play. But we don’t believe
so. In almost all of our limited and full pressure
drills there are defenders and it’s a simple
change of focus to coach defense in the drill as
opposed to attack. In the best of all worlds the
attackers and defenders are coached and encouraged
to be good attackers and defenders and there’s
a healthy competition to block and strip each other
of the ball and change roles at the drop of a hat
or should we say a shoulder. This is the nature
of the game and players should be coached to move
seamlessly from offense to defense and back again.
If you’re a defender and don’t practice
the moves how will you quickly recognize them in
the game and defend effectively against them without
If you practice them you will learn to recognize
them quickly in games and take appropriate action
borne of your own experience.
So let’s not foolishly pigeon hole Coerver
Coaching as an attackers only program. It’s
for all players and all parts of the game. And the
more we can effortlessly transition from attack
to defense and back again the better player we will
Okay now the
moves we are going to profile in our video are some
of our favorites. I am sure you will recognize them.
These are moves Landon Donovan, Freddie Adu, Thierry
Henry, Ronaldo and the great stars of our game use
game in game out. Get your teams doing these and
you will be amazed how much fun they’ll have
and how many scoring chances you will create. Alright
the video closely to see the correct form.
The video outlines
Coerver Coaching’s three step approach to
learning a move.
- No pressure - Where coach reviews
drill step by step so players can understand drill
requirements and can practice basic form
- Partial pressure – Where
a defender moves with attacker mimicking a defensive
posture and getting attacker ready for game situation.
- Full pressure – Game situational
practice but in small groups or 1v1 so attackers
and defenders can gain confidence.
The text below should
help you with the set up for the Step over, Double
The Step Over
Fake to kick the ball.
Instead, step around it and …..
… Plant the foot on the other
side of the ball, turning the hips for best effect.
Then push the ball in the opposite
direction with the outside of the step-over foot
and accelerate away.
Tell players to keep their step-over
Encourage attackers to accelerate
away from the defender after making the fake.
The Double Step Over
Fake to kick the ball, but step around
…And then to the other side
Bring the same foot around the front
of the ball, back to its starting point ….
… And with the outside of your
opposite foot take the ball in the opposite direction
and accelerate away.
Moves should be made before the player
gets too close to opponent otherwise; the ball is
likely to be stolen.
MOVES Partial Pressure
A good exercise in limited pressure
will help you with your moves as outlined in Exercise
2 in the video above.
Two 2-yard wide goals, 12 yards apart.
Two players, one with a ball, face
each other across an imaginary line between the
The attacker with the ball tries to
get to either end cone before the defender touches
the corresponding inside cone.
The attacker can change direction
as often and as quickly as he wants.
The defender cannot cross the imaginary
line or touch the ball.
Players switch roles after three attempts.
Start exercises by having players
do body feints without the ball.
can use any move they like to make space for themselves.
In Your Players!
One of the common complaints
we hear from coaches is that players don’t
try the moves in games. We think there are several
issues at work with this comment. The biggest is
coaches must build a players confidence. The No
Pressure, Partial Pressure and Full Pressure approach
is a perfect way to get players more confident.
Move from there to playing small group games (covered
in lesson six) and players will again grow in confidence.
Another point for
coaches to remember is not to allow an early focus
on winning to get in the way of skill development.
In the long run it will cost you. Mistake free football
is one way to win…but if mistake free football
means we don’t try new skills in game situations
in the long run these early mistake free games will
be replaced with defeat as teams that have grown
in skill overcome our defenses. Players must be
encouraged to try moves in game situations and not
reprimanded if mistakes are made.
They know it!
The better approach
is to say, “Alright good try we can get them
next time” or “Not to worry we only
grow by making the mistake. Let’s go get them!”
Conservative coaches may want to say lets try to
employ one new move a game or set a parameter that
makes sense. Always be encouraging practice and
innovation and your players will reward you!
In our next
lesson we will go over the other major way you can
gain space on the soccer field…Speed. Everybody’s
speed can be improved.
1. Speed of foot
2. Reaction speed
3. Decision making speed.