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Soccer Moves & More

Below are a few extra soccer moves to beat players and concepts to think about when considering how to escape pressure and attacking the defense. These are variations of some classic soccer moves, many from our soccer dribbling moves list, that everyone can incorporate into their training sessions.

Messi Surrounded in the World Cup
Getty Images


Of course, the key with all dribbling moves though is change of pace. Go slow, do the move, then blow past the defender. And, when trying to beat someone on the dribble, the idea is to lull the defender into thinking your going to do one thing or go one way, and then do the opposite.

The Pull Back

The pull back has a number of variations and, some can be used in tandem to trick the defenders into thinking you're going one way, when you really want to go in the other. You can also add in some fake passes or shots, just before you drag the ball back or pull it away from the defender.

Use the sole (bottom of your shoe) of your foot to pull the ball back and push the ball to the right or left with the outside of your foot. Then try pulling/dragging the ball back with the sole of your foot and use the instep to push the ball to the right or left. Then pull the ball back with the sole of the foot behind your standing leg and push it to the inside with the inside of your foot.

Finally, pull the ball back with the sole of your foot behind your standing leg and fake like you're going to take the ball with the inside of your foot only to take it away with the outside of your foot at the last minute.

Again, there are a number of variations with the pull back move, the idea is to get comfortable with a wide range of pull backs and find the ones that work best for you. That's the key with moves, work on them on a regular basis so you get comfortable and they become seond nature. Check out some of the Coerver DVDs to learn more moves like the pull back.

Here's a quick run down of some of the variations of some pull back moves:

Pull Back in One Motion | Pull Pushes | Pull Push V's | Round the World

Push Pull L's


Also, make sure to work on pulling the ball back with both feet. Meaning, don't forget about working on the moves with your weaker foot.

Quick Pass to Yourself

With the inside of your foot, pass the ball to your other foot and push the ball past the defender. The trick with this move is in timing it right. Make sure the defender is off balance or is standing flat footed or perhaps they are closing you down to fast and won't be able to stop. 

You also need the momentum to pass the ball across your body to your other foot, and push it past the defender. Your body should be between the defender and the ball, when you go by the defender, so they can only foul you if they want to win the ball.

Double Pass to Yourself

If the defender isn't fooled by the pass across your body to your other foot, you can just pass the ball back to the other foot and then push it past the defender.

You are trying to read which direction the defender is going to go. If he or she looks like they are going to beat you to the ball after you play it by them, play it back to your other foot and push it by the defender.

Inside of the Feet Drill

A good drill is passing the ball back and forth between your legs with the inside of your feet. Then add subtle moves to this. Make two passes between your legs and then put your foot on top of the ball with the sole of your foot. Make four passes between your legs with the inside of the feet and then turn with the inside of the foot. After a few passes, pull the ball back with the sole of the foot, throw in a fake shot, too. Try a few passes and then do a step over move. 

Always go back to knocking the ball back and forth with the inside of your feet (say ten times) after each move or turn. Add different moves to your routine – create a long series of steps and dribbling moves but always go back to passes the ball back and forth between your legs. 

Step Over with One Foot

This move is usually done when you are not dribbling but rather standing or maybe moving at a slow pace. Most often it's a set-up play to take a shot or swing in a cross. 

Take either foot and bring it over the ball (almost as if you are going to make a pass or take a shot) and take the ball away with the outside of the same foot you’ve just used to fake the pass or shot. You’re swinging your leg over the ball and then taking the ball to the side with the outside area of your foot.

It is important to set your defender up for the move. Go slow for a few steps, touching the ball with the inside of your foot in the opposite direction in which you want to go after you do the move. Again, after you do the move, quickly dart into space with the ball at speed. It is slow, slow, slow, do the move or feint, and then take off at speed. Lull the defender to sleep and then swing your leg over and push the ball to the space. This gives you a quick opening to hit a cross or shot.

A Great Escape

Use your teammates as outlets or means of escape. For instance, your two center midfielders might play a short square pass to one another to settle the play and get time to make the next pass. A few short passes serve to relieve pressure and then a long pass is made to break pressure (short, short, long). With this third pass, try hit a penetrating pass to teammate making a run in behind the defense. Those two short passes get you out of trouble or pressure from the other team and enable you to see and make the great pass.

What happens is the opposing team or defenders collaspe on top of you trying to win the ball, as you make a few short quick passes they close you down even more, and that's when you spring the long through ball to another teammate making a run down the line or behind the defense.

If you watch Barcelona play, they often play a short pass to a teammate just to start over and get away from a defender. It's their Tiki Taka style of play.

Often, Iniesta will make a short pass to Xavi and then get the ball right back, when he then has had a chance to see the field and make the next pass. It's similar to a give and go or a wall pass, but sometimes it's purely a way to escape pressure and gain some time and space again. And not necessarily a way to attack or get in behind the defense right away.

It's kind of a holding pattern type of play, to then make that killer pass. Barcelona love to lull teams into thinking they just want to keep possesion, and that's when they play that through ball that results in a goal.

Key Training Habits

In training, you’re bound to develop both good and bad habits that you’ll then use in games, so train smart so all those habits are good ones.

Here are some key things to remember when training on your own or with your team at practice. These are some good habits to integrate into your game: 

  • Make practice like a game - the same type of intensity.
  • Get your head up: Take a picture of what's around you before you get the ball.
  • Know what you want to do with the ball before you get it.
  • Be on your toes and ready to receive the ball or make a tackle.
  • Attack the ball. Don't wait for it to come to you.
  • If you lose the ball, forget about the mistake right away and try to win the ball back.
  • Play crisp passes to your teammates. No lazy or slow passes.
  • Ask for the ball all the time. If you don't call for the ball you might not get it.
  • Use your body to protect the ball and don't be afraid to get fouled.
  • Control the ball out of your feet. Don't kill the ball right in front of you.


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