How to Play Soccer For Beginners
How to Receive or Trap a Soccer Ball Without Pressure
Ok, let me tell you straight away that this step and the next one, are the MOST IMPORTANT STEPS in this guide. They lay the foundation of a good soccer player. Without learning the skill taught by these steps , everything else can fall out of place.
Receiving or trapping the ball is a skill that separates good players from mediocre ones. Unfortunately, most beginners overlook this skill as it is not too obvious to notice in games. However, the fact is that this is the skill which comes into play the most during the game, because to do virtually anything with a soccer ball, you first have to receive it. And unless you know how to receive a soccer ball properly, every thing else will go in vain. So focus on learning the art of receiving a soccer ball very carefully.
First, let us have a look at how to receive the ball when the opponents are not close to you, or are not pressing you.
The technique used in receiving the ball when there is not much pressure around you is to receive the ball in such a way that with ONE TOUCH you are FACING TOWARDS THE OPPONENT?S GOAL. The biggest mistake made my beginners is that they take two or more touches to receive the ball and face goal side, i.e., one touch to receive the ball and the other to turn around with the ball and face the goal. This is NOT CORRECT as it uses up too much time, ad by the time you turn and put your head up, your opponents would close you down and dispossess you.
The CORRECT way is to make the motion of receiving the ball and turning into one. You receive the ball while turning. In this way, in one touch of the ball, you are facing towards your opponent?s goal and can immediately gauge the field to make a pass or take a shot.
Now a good question you may ask is ? How do i know if there is an opponent putting pressure on me when i have my back turned towards the goal to receive a pass?
The answer to this question is to ALWAYS KEEP LOOKING AROUND YOU, whether you have the ball or not. Even when you are receiving the ball, you should give a quick look over your shoulder to check what?s happening behind you. This will make you aware of the the situation around you and hence, improve your decision making skill.
If you look at any professional soccer player, especially the midfielders, they are always looking over their shoulders to know what is happening around them. Remember to do this even when you are not receiving a pass. You should ALWAYS be aware of what is happening around you.
How to Practice
Here is what you do Stand around 8 12 yards away from a wall or a some barrier capable of rebounding the ball towards you. Strike the ball against it firmly so that i comes back to you. Now, the moment the ball strikes the wall, give a quick glance over your shoulder, and then immediately return your focus on receiving the incoming ball. It is important that this not done too late as that will make it difficult for you to focus back on receiving the ball. To receive the ball, touch the ball with your foot while turning so that with one touch of the ball , you have turned as well as received the ball, as shown in the video above. Do this slowly as it is a tough skill to develop. For even a better understanding of how this looks like, check out the video posted below in ?Usefulness in Game Situations?. Practice this turn and touch drill 30 40 times minimum.
As you get better, try and increase the difficulty level by hitting the ball harder so it comes back to you faster, and also reducing the distance between you and the wall.
Important Tip : Practice this drill along with the one in the next step as often as you can because practicing the skill to receive the ball will develop your touch, which is THE most important thing in soccer. In fact, if you find overwhelmed by the need to check over your shoulder and learning the skill at the same time, i would suggest you t first practice receiving and turning aspect, and when you get a little comfortable doing that, you can start to look over your shoulder. But do not neglect it, as being aware of what is around you is a fundamental skill and can put you light years ahead of many soccer players.
You should continue practicing this drill till you naturally feel comfortable with the whole process of checking over your shoulder and receiving the pass in the turning motion with one touch. There is no quantifiable way to assess this drill. Once you find you don?t have to think too much about the whole process, and find yourself receiving the ball with ease, you have achieved the objective.
A 20 30 minutes practice session should be sufficient.
Usefulness in Game Situations
To understand the importance of receiving the pass on the turn and being aware of what is around you, let us analyze this Youtube video by leomessirules10 which shows a famous goal scored by the football club Arsenal in their UEFA Champions League match against FC Barcelona, back in February, 2011. The build up to this goal will demonstrate the usefulness of the need to learn the skill of receiving the ball.