"Use shielding practice to teach
kids how to protect the soccer ball"

How does a coach introduce shielding practice so players learn how to protect the soccer ball using a combination of moves and shielding players off physically.

In explaining shielding to kids...

  • The defender is "A" - tries to win the soccer ball.
  • The shielding player is "B" - tries to protect the soccer ball.
  • The ball is "C" which "B" tries to protect.
  • "A" and "C" never meet.

So how do we go about teaching the players this?

check out this videos for some shielding tips.

1v1 pushing in space

The coach starts the players out in pairs...

  • Partners pushing with shoulders and hips.
  • Players try to hold ground and gain ground.
  • Play 1 minute game and see who can push who.

The kids will get into this one - better for more advanced players...

1v1 Pushing to cone

The coach start the players out in pairs with a cone...

  • Player "A" defends the cone by using a shoulder and hips.
  • Player "B" tries to get close enough to the cone to touch the cone with a toe.
  • Score a point every time there is a tap on the cone.
  • Play one minute games.

The kids will really get into this one...

1v1 Pushing to cone with soccer

The coach now adds a soccer ball to the exercise above...

  • Player "A" defends the cone.
  • Player "B" has the soccer ball.
  • No tackling allowed - Player "A" cannot take player "B's" ball
  • Player "A" defends the cone.
  • Player "B" has to touch the cone with a toe tap, but must have the ball with them when they touch the cone.
  • Players will play one min games and have with a minute rest between games.

The kids will develop leg strength and a toughness.

1v1 Pushing to cone with soccer ball #2

Same set up as previous exercise...

  • Player "A" can now knock player "B's" ball away and regroup.
  • Defender is shielding and protecting cone.
  • Attacker has to carry and protect the soccer ball.

The kids now have the basic shielding techniques down. If you want you can add the following variations.

Add these variations

Put these variations into shielding practice...

  • The players now replace the cone with a soccer ball.
  • The players both have a cone and a soccer ball.
  • Put the players in five yard grids with the players competing in pairs with one soccer ball in the grid.

These variations can be introduced in other practices as the players get used to shielding the soccer ball. Get the kids into 3v3 or 4v4 games so the kids can practice the shielding moves they have just learned.

Return to Shielding Skills from Shielding Practice.

Return to Soccer Practice Plans from Shielding Practice.

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