Coach Gareth’s Top 5 Skills Every Player Should Learn

In this weeks Top 5 Tips, Coach Gareth lists the 5 basic football skills every Little League Soccer player should aim to master

Foundation is key to every success, and that also applies to your moves on the pitch. Here are Coach Gareth’s 5 top skills every player should master!

1. The Cruyff Turn

Made famous by the legendary Johann Cruyff, this is one of the most basic skills you should have in your arsenal. Tucking the ball behind you and then quickly changing direction creates that gap for you so you will have some breathing room to look up, scan, and get out of danger, or pass it to a teammate who is open. Don’t forget, this turn is also versatile, so you can go anywhere around the field with it. Add a great body feint to dupe your defender, and you’ll see how a simple move can easily throw off the opposition.

2. Drag Back

Also known as the pull back, the drag back requires you to use the sole of your foot to, well, drag the ball back. As you drag the ball with the sole of your foot you’ll turn your body 180 degrees, then push the ball away from your body and accelerate away. The drag back helps you reset your route, allowing you to swiftly turn away from danger.
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The V-Cut

This foundation move simply requires you to slightly change your direction by using both your sole and inside foot, and will allow you to advance away from the defender, even better if he or she is committing to taking the ball away from you! In the video below, Coach Kesh shows you a variation of the V-Cut which adds a fake pass to further throw off the defenders.

4. The Fake Take

The Fake Take is a basic body feint that you can see often used by the likes of Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. This move requires you to convince defenders you’re going to be dribbling in one direction before quickly moving away to the other direction. When performed well, with an exaggerated fake to one direction then a fast push of the ball in the opposite direction, this skill is extremely difficult to defend against. In the video below, Coach Nidhal shows you how to effectively ‘sell’ the shoulder feint.

5. L-Cut

The L-Cut of L Sole Roll, as Coach Simon explains in the video below, is a slight variation on the Cruyff turn. The skill sees you fake a pass, shot or move forward before dragging the ball back, to the side and away from the defender. As with all skills here, pushing the ball and accelerating away from the move is crucial to leaving the defender behind.
These 5 skills are simple, effective, and can get you out of trouble almost anywhere on the pitch. So what are you waiting for? Get practicing so you can show us your best moves when we get back out onto the field!

Bonus tips

Wondering what skills to work on? Join our Little League Live Zoom Training Sessions every weekend!