How to Play Soccer For Beginners
How to Beat a Defender Using Skills and Fakes
A lot of times you will find yourself in situations where you are one on one with a defender or even more than one defender. More often than not it is always best to pass to an open teammate as that is your best bet to keep possession. But overdoing this is not correct. Sometimes it is better for the team if you are selfish and take it upon yourself to beat the defender. But this requires you to develop skills that use quick movement of feet, good control of the ball and deception (fakes), in order to get past the defender with ease.
There are three main moves that can really help you to beat defenders :
1. The Step Over
The step over is one of the most popular dribbling moves in soccer. It involves using your foot to go over the ball (which is in motion) in either direction, with your shoulder dropping slightly towards that direction too. Once your foot comes back on the ground, move the ball in the opposite direction with your other foot. The aim is to send the defender in the wrong direction, by making him believe that you would go in the direction of the foot which goes over the ball initially. Once you get good at this, you can start to do multiple step overs. One mistake many beginners make is that they try and do step overs when the ball is moving very fast. This is not correct. The moment when you do a step over, make sure the ball is at a relatively slow speed. Once the defender has bought the fake, it is then you should explode with pace. Here is a Youtube video by STRskillSchool that shows how to do the step over.
2.The Feint Shot
This move refers to using a the action of shooting to deceive the defender. This involves dribbling the ball towards the defender, then swinging back your foot as if you are about to take a shot, but instead moving the ball in the direction of open space. The idea is to make the defender believe that you are about to take a shot, so that his or her natural reaction of looking away or protecting themselves, gives you enough time to steer the ball in another direction. This can be used to beat a defender to create space for taking a shot, to fake a cross which allows you to go in a more advanced area to give the actual cross, or even to get out of tight situations. Here is a Youtube video by AllianzFFL that shows how to perform a feint shot
3.The Drag Back
This is one of the most underrated moves in soccer. This move involves faking a shot, and then dragging the ball back in the direction which is opposite to the direction in which the fake shot was made, and then finally knocking the ball forward with the side foot once the defender has moved in the opposite direction.Here is a Youtube video by ThreeHillsTrading that shows how to do the drag back move.
How to Practice
Though you can practice all these moves as separate drills, I would really recommend you an easier way which will not only save time, but make sure that these skills come naturally to you. And that way is to simply incorporate these moves whenever you are practicing dribbling. That is it. It is that simple. There is no need for you to design a complex schedule just to accomodate these drills. just do them while dribbling. Of course remember to go slowly at first, and then gradually increase the speed and frequency once you start getting comfortable. When you are practicing alone, you can use objects like small vehicles, pillars, flower pots, etc as defenders, and try to get past them using the three moves described above.
Important Tip : I cannot stress enough that you have to be patient. These skills are in the advanced section because even though you might be able to do them in practice, you will find that using them in game situations is not as easy as you thought it would be. But do not despair. The key is to practice these whenever you practice dribbling. Even in actual games, limit the use of these till you get really good at doing them, because unless they are performed correctly these moves usually result in loss of possession. But once you master them, you will have the ability to beat defenders like they are not there.
Keep practicing these drills till you are able to do these three moves flawlessly and at a decent speed. Developing the quickness of your footwork in executing these moves is important, so that before the defender is able to recover, you are already past him or her.