Part 3 of "The Six Steps To Soccer Success"

Make Your Move…Make It Count

Welcome to 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 by ourselves.

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.

Defenders Pay Attention
This Is For You Too!

Often 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 mostly guessing.

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 be.

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 lets watch!


Watch the video closely to see the correct form.

The video outlines Coerver Coaching’s three step approach to learning a move.

  1. No pressure - Where coach reviews drill step by step so players can understand drill requirements and can practice basic form
  2. Partial pressure – Where a defender moves with attacker mimicking a defensive posture and getting attacker ready for game situation.
  3. 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 step over

Video Drill

The Step Over

Step 1:

Fake to kick the ball.

Step 2:

Instead, step around it and …..

Step 3:

… Plant the foot on the other side of the ball, turning the hips for best effect.

Step 4:

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 foot low

Encourage attackers to accelerate away from the defender after making the fake.

The Double Step Over

Step 1:

Fake to kick the ball, but step around it…..

Step 2:

…And then to the other side

Step 3:

Bring the same foot around the front of the ball, back to its starting point ….

Step 4:

… 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 two goals.


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.

The players can use any move they like to make space for themselves.

Believe 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.

The Pyramid Of Player Development ©

As always we will integrate the skills an approaches we have been learning in the series to build upon this next fundamental level in our Pyramid of Player Development.

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Charlie Cooke