Soccer Turns & Cuts

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In soccer, there’s a certain art to turning and cutting with the soccer ball. It’s all about timing and using your body to protect the ball. It’s also about being aware of your surroundings on the field, knowing if there’s a defender behind you or coming from the side.

Outside Cut

Use the outside of the foot to cut the ball back in the other direction. Plant the standing foot far enough away from the ball so you can pivot away, turn your hips and body, and cut the ball with the outside of the foot in one motion.

Inside Cut

Pivot on the standing foot and cut the ball in the other direction with the inside of the foot.

Soccer Pro Turns

Cutting the Ball

While approaching an opponent, chop at the ball with your right foot cutting directly to the left. 2. It is important that you don’t cut the ball too hard, you want to keep it on the ground. 3. It is important to change your weight and direction quickly to make this move effective.

Shoulder Feint

Dip the shoulder to one side and go in the opposite direction. Step into the direction you are faking with your shoulder and take off with the ball in the other direction. Spinning in a way in the other direction. It’s a shoulder fake to the right then you dribble off or turn with the ball to the left – and the reverse to go the other way – fake to the left (lean) and dribble off by turning to the right.

This is done with your back towards the defender. Before turning, and when you have a defender on your back, throw in feints as if you are going to go in one direction, when you really want to go the other way. Feint to the side by dipping your shoulder.

However, as a midfielder, you might want to have your body half turned already, and open to the field. This turn, the fake with your shoulder, is if you are marked tightly and coming back to the ball with a defender right on top of you and need to spin away.

Spinning with the Inside of the Foot

Use the inside of the foot to spin around with the ball. You are using the inside of your foot for control and pulling the ball around to open up into the new direction you want to go in. That way you are immediately open to the entire field and can make a pass with the inside of your foot on your next step.

Changes of Direction

Here are some Coerver Coaching videos running through some turning and cutting drills with the inside and outsides of both feet.

Moves 1-3

Moves 4-6

Moves 7-10

The Dummy Turn

If the ball is played at the right pace and you think the defender is too close to you, then you can let the ball run through your legs and turn and beat your opponent to the ball.

Also, if you know your teammate is behind you and open, you can let the ball run through your legs and go through to your teammate, and they then can play the ball to back to you – much like a give and go.

This is very effective for forwards to learn. The ball can be played to the forward who’s checking back, who lets it run through his or her legs or just lets the ball go by them and quickly turns to get the ball back from the other forward, the deeper forward who is posting up.

When the two forwards are lined up one should always be closer to the midfield. The forwards should try to work in tandem and stay ten or fifteen yards from one another. One stretching the defense the other closer to the midfield – of course the forwards can rotate and switch these positions through the course of the game but often the taller forward posts up high to win head balls for instance, while the other forward tries to win the knock downs or anticipate a flick, say off of a goal kick or punt for instance. Forwards can also clip the ball into the other forwards path and work a give and go. Meaning, instead of a dummy and letting the ball go past them completely, they can get a touch on the ball or flick the ball on to the forward – using the pace of the ball to spin the ball into the other forward, perhaps around a defender.


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