Losing the ball in soccer can be incredibly frustrating whether you are the player losing the ball it’s your teammate, especially as it seems like such an easy thing to do. Losing the ball in soccer can break down a meaningful attack or it can gift the opposition a goal. This post will teach you everything you need to do to stop losing the ball in soccer
This is how you stop losing the ball in soccer every time
These are the 6 skills you need to improve to ensure that you stop losing the ball in soccer:
- Scan the area
- Create passing angles to receive the ball
- Protect the ball
- Comfortable using both feet
- Practice a good first touch
Below, there will be a breakdown of each skill and how you can implement them into your game.
These skills will help new soccer players as well as seasoned players!
Scan the area
This is a really simple skill that not every soccer player does, and it makes a world of difference when you do it properly!
Scanning the area in soccer means looking specifically to see other players’ positioning and movements, whether the players are on your team or on the opposition team.
The more frequently you scan, the better the information you have, which means the better decisions you can make on the ball.
By being aware of other players’ movements and positioning you’ll know:
- Who you can pass to
- How much time do you have on the ball
- Whether you can turn or not
- Space for you to exploit when you receive the ball
This means that by the time you receive the ball, you already know what decision you are going to make.
Players who lose the ball in soccer are less likely to scan the area and panic because they are trying to make the decision when they receive the ball.
By that point, it’s too late!
Lampard and Gundogan so a fantastic job of scanning in the example below.
They do it so often that it becomes second nature to them
Create passing angles to receive the ball
Creating passing angles is a great way to stop you from losing the ball in soccer as well as providing great support to your teammates on the ball.
You can create an angle more moving to the side of the player, instead of standing directly in front or behind them.
This is an example of how you can create a passing angle in soccer compared with a poor passing angle in soccer.
Creating better passing angles means you:
- Have more time and space on the ball
- Receive the ball in an open-body position
- Will make better decisions on the ball
- Give your teammates better passing options
- Create space for teammates
This is another simple, yet effective skill to help stop losing the ball in soccer
Protect the ball
Learning how to use your body to prevent opposition players from stealing the ball is essential to stop losing the ball in soccer.
You don’t even have to be the biggest or strongest to project the ball, you just have to be smart with how you position yourself.
To protect the ball in soccer you need to place your body between the ball and the defender, in a side-on-body position while controlling the ball with your front foot.
Your front foot in soccer is the foot that is closest to the ball when in a side-on-body position.
Make sure that your knees are slightly bent too, to help you stabilize and balance.
This will keep the ball as far away from the defender as possible while making it very hard for them to step in and win the ball.
This a great tutorial on how to protect the ball in soccer to you from losing it.
If you need to practice this skill, use these 4 soccer drills on for shielding the ball in soccer
Communication is essential to sports teams, not just soccer!
There are a variety of different ways soccer players communicate with each other, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
When your team has the ball your should be giving them quick, clear, and concise pieces of information that your teammates can use to make better decisions on the ball.
Your teammates should be doing the same for you too!
If they are not doing this you definitely need to make sure they start doing it, as it can really help you and them to stop losing the ball in soccer.
In soccer, your teammates can be your extra pair of eyes and give you information that you have not taken in.
They can let you know if:
- You have time and space to turn
- You are being pressured by an opposition player
- They are free to receive the ball
- A teammate is in a good position to receive the ball
- You should pass back or go forward
Strong communication is a pillar of any successful soccer team!
Comfortable with both feet
Being comfortable with both feet will really help you to stop losing the ball in soccer.
This is because when you use both feet you become a lot harder to predict for the opposition players, especially when they try to press.
Here is an overview of what pressing triggers opposition players will look for when pressuring you, with identifying your weaker foot on top of the list.
When you are comfortable on both feet, everything will become more natural to you.
Opposition players will not be sure how to approach you, and may even standoff you, allowing you more space and time on the ball.
You’ll notice players who are very footed, will often adapt their dribbling technique, passing, and movements to accommodate for the stronger foot.
This actually makes the player a lot easier to mark and force into mistakes because they are so one-foot dominant.
This is how you can improve your weak foot in soccer
Good first touch
Your first touch in soccer is often referred to as your most important touch.
A good first touch can make an incredible difference to your game, and stop you from losing the ball in soccer.
There are a variety of different ways you can control the ball, but you must always make sure that your touch takes you toward the space and away from the opposition player, as well as being out of your feet.
If your touch is too heavy it will get away from you, or if your touch isn’t strong enough the ball will get stuck under your feet
Make sure that you are on your toes too, ready to anticipate the pass but also to quickly adjust if the pass isn’t as accurate
You can even beat the opposition player with your first touch.
Before you receive the ball, you should already know what direction the opposition players are pressuring you from, because you have scanned around yourself.
Look at some of the awareness shown for these first touches!
Keep it simple
Sometimes, overconfident players will lose the ball as often, if not more than less-confident players!
This is because they will try to do too much, try to choose the hardest option to pass, or attempt to score a wonder goal.
The most effective thing to do most of the time is to keep things simple, especially when going through a patch of losing the ball in soccer.
Try and focus on having a good first touch, with your first thought to play forward.
If you can’t go forward try and play backward or sideways to change the point of the attack.
If you are feeling confident in 1v1, dribble at the defender and get past them.
However, try not to get carried away, as this is when you are most likely to lose the ball.
As a coach, I would want my players to take risks but improve their decision-making as to when and where they should take their risks
Don’t get too down heartened by losing the ball in soccer, it can be difficult at times.
It’s really important that you see this as lessons being learned as opposed to mistakes being made.
The best players didn’t get to where they are without making mistakes.
When you do make mistakes make sure that you put in the work to understand why you lost the ball, and then correct it for next time.
These are some great soccer drills for beginners that you will find helpful to improve your soccer skills.
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