Soccer Strength on the Ball

Refers to how hard it is to steal (i.e., "dispossess") the ball from the ballhandler. You will notice that it is easy to steal the ball from some players but difficult to steal the ball from others. The difference depends on footwork, shielding & "strength on the ball". To protect the ball, the ballhandler should shift it to the foot farthest from the opponent and, if the opponent is close by, prepare for a "Shoulder Charge" by bending his knees, bracing himself & stiffening the arm closest to the opponent. Players should always keep their knees bent, even if they don't have the ball. At advanced levels, the ballhandler will stay very low when defenders are close by & may drop his shoulder to keep from getting pushed off the ball. You want your players to have "strength on the ball" so they are not easily pushed off the ball. (See "Shielding", "Shoulder Charge" & "Drag The Ball").

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