Coaching Points for Basic Soccer Techniques

DRIBBLING PRINCIPLES
• Lean forward and over the ball
• Knees bent, on the balls of feet
• Relax body
• Balance is a must
• Keep ball close
• Use inside, outside, instep (laces) and bottom (sole) of both feet
• Be creative, use imagination - develop your own style
• Use body feints
• Change speed and direction
• Look up as much as possible
• Use body to shield/protect ball
• Don’t be afraid to fail. Take risks in offensive third of the field.

PASSING PRINCIPLES
• Eyes on the ball at the moment of contact
• Non-kicking foot alongside of the ball; don’t reach for ball
• Ankle locked on kicking foot
• Follow through toward target
• Inside-of-the-foot pass, toe pulled up at a 90-degree angle
• Inside to keep the ball low, strike the ball at the midline of the ball or above
• Outside-of-the-foot pass, toe pointed down, strike across the ball toward the target
• Instep drive: For long passes in the air make sure that the player is making contact with the ball below the midline. When trying to drive the ball with less air under it, the player should not follow through up into the air with the kicking foot. Stop the kicking foot at the point of contact
• Practice passing with both feet at all times
• Emphasize the importance of pace and accuracy

RECEIVING PRINCIPLES 
• Go to the ball to be in a position to control early
• Position the body directly in line with the flight of the ball and determine the surface to be used for controlling the ball
• At the moment of contact with the ball, the part of the body contacted is relaxed and gives slightly to kill the momentum of the ball (magic hop)
• Keep the ball close (don’t stop the ball completely) and guide it in the desired direction. The first touch must be constructive to prepare for next move (first- time pass, shot, dribble, etc.). Using the various foot surfaces (inside/outside/sole) to redirect ball as it strikes foot; ground simultaneously (wedge control). A bad first touch will result in losing possession
• Before the ball arrives, the player should know the position of opponents and teammates. Be thinking ahead - if you receive a ball and do not know what you are going to do next, it will be too late

FINISHING PRINCIPLES 
• Accuracy is the key - finishing is merely passing the ball into the goal past the goalkeeper
• Power is determined by the speed of the foot at the point of contact and the technique used
• Body alignment - whenever possible, head and kicking knee over the ball and hips and shoulders square to target

SHOOTING PRINCIPALES 
• Firm ankle, toe down
• Non-kicking foot placed comfortably beside the ball, with the toe pointing to the target
• Eyes kept on the ball at the moment of contact – on approach to goal take a quick look up and pick out target, then focus on ball. Many young players try to look at the target while making contact with the ball
• Keep head still throughout the follow through
• Follow through - ankle remains firm, toe down and follow through to the target
• Do not try to over-hit the ball (many kids swing so hard at the ball that they usually swing around the ball and mishit it badly)

HEADING PRINCIPLES 
• Eyes open
• Chin in, mouth closed, keep neck firm
• Attack the ball - don’t let the ball hit you
• Contact the ball just above the eyebrows or forehead
• Arms help to propel the head forward as well as aid in balance
• Use legs and back for power (arch and uncoil)
• Foot action - rocking motion, back foot to front foot
• Timing of the jump is very important - make contact with ball at the highest possible point