IN - BETWEENS WITH STEP - OVER 180
- First, to do the "in-betweens" stand with the soccer ball between your feet which are about shoulder width apart. Using the inside of the right foot, tap the ball softly to the inside of the left foot. Then using the inside of the left foot, tap it back again to the inside of the right foot. The trick is to keep the ball constantly moving between the feet as the player "hops" from foot to foot to prepare for the next touch. Once you get the hang of it, begin to move forward with each step by tapping the ball slightly forward with each touch. Eventually you should be able to keep the in-betweens going without a miss as you move slowly all over the place.
- Secondly, do the "step-over 180 turn. (This is a very important turn! Watch the pros, you will see variations of this turn a dozen times a game.) Start with the ball between your feet, as it is during your "in-betweens". Put your weight on your left foot as you swing your right foot up and over the ball (turning counter-clockwise towards the left). Plant the right foot down on the left side of the ball and step down. (This is the "stepover" part of the move and will be used in lots of fakes and feints). Now using that right foot as a pivot, spin (turning clockwise this time) around with your left foot, back towards the ball. Once you have turned a 180, take the ball with your left foot and begin the "in-betweens" the other direction.
-Another slight variation is to take the ball back with the outside of the right foot instead of using it as a pivot foot. Here you fake the "stepover" as you turn counter-clockwise over the ball with the right foot, just as before. Then instead of planting that right foot, you just tap it down and then back up as you begin to pivot back clockwise still on the left foot. Then you take the ball with the outside of the right foot (the stepover foot) and move back in the new direction. Personally, I prefer this variation. I think it is quicker and a little easier to do the pivot with cleats on grass fields.
KEY POINTS: The move becomes effective when the "stepover" looks like a shot or pass or lunge in that direction. This "sells" the "FAKE" and then you take the ball quickly in the other direction.
TOE TOUCHES MOVING FORWARD AND ALTERNATING FEET
Begin with the ball between your feet and slightly to the front. Lift the right foot and lightly touch the top of the ball with the front (cleat side) of the shoe, underneath the toe. Replace that right foot and do the same with the left foot. Now begin to alternate touches faster until you have to make little hops back and forth with your feet while continuing to touch the top of the ball. Finally, push the ball forward a few inches with each touch as you begin to move forward with each step.
The trick is to touch the ball forward "just the right distance" and slightly in front of the other foot so you can keep the pattern going without a break. After moving forward about 10 yds. do a "pullback" turn and return to the starting spot continuing your toe touches.
TOE TOUCHES MOVING BACKWARDS AND ALTERNATING FEET
This is nearly the same as the toe touches moving forward but instead goes backward. With each hop backwards touch the ball back and diagonally toward your next foot. This is a little more difficult to learn but is great for developing quick feet and pull back touches.
SIDE HOP ROLLS MOVING FORWARD (a.k.a. side drag rolls).
This is a shielding and rolling maneuver. Start by facing sideways (e.g. first face to the right) to the direction of travel, with the ball between your feet. Using the sole of your right foot, come up and over the top of the ball from right( the back) to left (the front). This gets the ball rolling to your left and down the direction of travel. After rolling over the top of the ball with your right foot, plant it down and "hop" onto your left foot and repeat. All the touches are with the right foot, rolling the ball to the left with your cleats as you "hop" down the field. You would use this to advance the ball and at the same time keep the defender to your backside. Repeat with the left foot.
KEY POINTS: Being able to roll the ball in various directions while shielding it from defenders can be crucial to finding space in tight spots. Watch a good winger use this maneuver deep in the corner to defeat a double team. Strikers often use this roll out at the 18 yd. line to protect the ball while searching for the next possible shot or pass.
OUTSIDE FOOT TOUCHES WITH FAST FEET
Push the ball to the outside with the outside of the foot then take 2 steps behind the rolling ball to prepare to touch it with the outside of the other foot.
KEY POINTS: Kids learn early how to move the ball around with the inside part of their feet but sometimes do not progress to using the outside part of the foot. This condems them to countless failed attempts to beat the opponent since they end up in the "fruitless kicking battle" as both players stab at the ball with the insides of their feet. Many of the great fakes (lunge, scizzors, Matthews, reverse Matthews, Rivelino, drag swerve etc.) will use the outside of the feet so the players should get comfortable with this touch at an early age.
SPEED CHANGE WITH "HOP - STOP - "Half Garrincha"
Have the players dribble slowly or do some "inbetweens" and then explodeup the field for about 4 steps finally coming to a turning stop. Repeat.
KEY POINTS:There is little point in making a feint if the space gained is not exploited by a burst of speed. In fact, the attempt at the feint can be poor, but it will still be effective if combined with instant acceleration. I think many young players concentrate too much on the "cut" and forget to "explode" out of the fake.
OUTSIDE TO INSIDE ROLL RIGHT FOOT ACROSS BODY,
TOUCH FORWARD WITH LEFT FOOT
This is a very important maneuver that has been referred to in some circles as the "Preki". Start with the ball between your feet. Begin with a little lean or lunge out to the right side of the ball by lifting your right foot and stepping down lightly beside the ball. Do not plant weight onto this right foot. Instead, plan to shift your weight back to the left and then "scrape" your cleats over the top of the ball, from the right side to the left, to begin it rolling to the left. After it has crossed completely in front of your body, use the inside of your left foot to touch it forward. Now repeat the same starting with the left foot.
KEY POINTS: The little lunge to the right side of the ball sets up the rapid move back to the left and "sells" this fake. Being comfortable "scraping" the ball with the cleats to get it rolling in different directions is essential to close quarters dribbling to find space for shooting and passing. Follow this "inside roll" with the "outside roll" as described below. Eventually, any time you are stopped with your foot on top of the ball, you will be able to instantly move left, right, or backwards into a pull-back and still maintain possession.
INSIDE TO OUTSIDE ROLL RIGHT FOOT TO THE (RIGHT) SIDE,
TOUCH FORWARD WITH RIGHT FOOT
This is the sister move to the "outside to inside" roll. Start with the ball between your feet. Begin with a rapid movement with your right foot to the top of the ball and stop briefly with your cleats on top. This motion should make it appear like you are passing the ball, or taking the ball to your left side, across your body. Instead, keep your weight on your left foot and "scrape" from the inside to the outside with your right foot. This gets the ball rolling back to your right and slightly behind you. Then turn your hips to the right and touch it with the inside of the right foot to deflect it off to the right on a diagonal. Repeat with the right foot several times and then switch to the left. (This is the basic movement for the key feint known as a "pullback V".)
KEY POINTS: This move is the backbone of the important fake known as the "Vee" or better yet, the "fake-kick V". Emphasize the fake kick motion up to the ball at the beginning of the move, then rapidly pull the ball back and outside to the right, finally turn the hips to follow the ball and touch it with the inside aspect of the right foot and you have a classic "V".
Start with the right foot in front of the left, and the ball just ahead of the leading foot. Begin by touching the ball forward with the (right) front foot which you then plant on the ground and do a little "hop" (or skip), while your (left) trailing leg comes to the front. When that (left) leg is in front, touch the ball ahead with it, then plant it down for a little "hop" (skip), and continue. Do this for several dozen skips.
KEY POINTS: Ever watch a basketball guard set up his move to the basket? Many times he will put a little "stutter", "skip", or "hitch" in his movement to freeze the defender and set his own feet. The same thing applies to a football halfback who is preparing to pick his "hole" and dive for the first down. He will literally "skip" for a stride which often times either freezes the defenders, or "wrong foots" them. This concept works in soccer dribbling as well. Next time you are practicing even simple soccer feints,( like "lunges" for instance), add a skip just before the move and watch how well the move works. Notice the extra little jump you get as you complete the move. It seems to "load the spring" in your legs, helping prepare for the quick change of pace and direction.