HOW TO TEACH BASIC SOCCER SKILLS

As in most games, the key to teaching basic soccer games is to make the players learn the skill while having lots of fun. The basic soccer skills include dribbling, shooting, heading, tackling and goalkeeping. Focus on one skill at a time and move on to the next one after some practice. Don’t linger on one area for way to long or boredom will set in and players will start losing interest.

Teach the team about the role of players in each of the three positions: forward, midfield and fullback. Split the players into three groups and line them up one behind the other. Each group plays one position for a game and then the groups switch position. This way, each of them gets to play in every position.

Introduce dribbling. This is by far, the most important basic skill in soccer as dribbling is how the ball moves across the field while keeping it under control. Explain the importance of keeping the eyes on the ball, never letting the ball move more than a couple of feet away from the body, shielding the body between the ball and opponent players and always keeping an eye on the positions of other players.

Teach shooting, which is kicking the soccer ball over a long distance either into the opponents net or to another player of the same team. Demonstrate and let the players practice the basic shooting steps of keeping the eye on the ball, approaching at a slight angle, placing the non-striking foot on the side of the ball, maintaining the knee of the striking leg over the ball, making contact at the centre of the ball and following through.

Introduce the idea of heading but keep in mind that it can be tricky to teach and master. There are intricate details to the technique, start with the basic skill of making contact with the ball with the forehead, eyes open until contact.

Practice slide tackling, where the defender must stop an opponent player. Instruct and practice slide tackling only and leave block tackling to more experienced players.

Ensure that all players practice goalkeeping. At the basic level, focus on proper catching techniques and avoid teaching driving.

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