For our first ever blog post, we shared 5 Ways to Improve Your Skills in Your Backyard. In that article, the second way to improve your skill was working on your trapping. Trapping the soccer ball is actually an older term that’s fallen out of fashion; the updated term is receiving.
There are four ways to receive the ball out of the air: sole inside, outside, and laces. The previous post discussed how to use your laces. This article will give you some ways to improve your skill of receiving the soccer ball out of the air on the short hop, as well as a couple of additional practice exercises.
Receiving the ball on the short hop means that the ball actually hits the ground and you receive the ball just as it hit off the ground on its way up.
Sole of the foot
Kick the ball up in the air out in front of you so that you have to chase after it for a couple yards and still get to it. You will need to reach out with the sole of your foot to receive the ball on the short hop to push the ball back down on the ground. You don’t want to kick the ball away from you. You want to make sure it is close enough to you to get another touch on it. Also, make sure you don’t stomp on the ball, but rather make it a more smooth motion
Inside of the foot
When receiving the ball on the short hop with the inside of your foot, you can kick the ball straight up in the air. I would recommend kicking ball up slightly to one side or the other because it will be easier to receive. If the ball is slightly to your right, then you will want to use your right foot to cut the ball to the left just as is bounces off the turf, and vice versa.
Outside of the foot
Similar to receiving using the sole of your foot, when using the outside you will need to kick the ball a couple yards away from you so that you can still get to it. You will want to reach out for the ball so that you receive the ball just as it comes off the ground with the outside of your foot. Remember, don’t reach too far or else you will be sniped. You will be cutting the ball back in the direction you just ran from.
Remember to make sure you are using both feet for each surface you are receiving the ball.
For this exercise, you will need two cones about two yards apart. Start with the ball outside of the right cone at a 45 degree angle. You will need to pull the ball with sole of your right foot back below and between the two cones. With your the inside of your left foot, push the ball between the two cones. With the sole of your right foot, roll the ball outside the cone. Next, use the sole of your left foot to pull the ball back below and between the two cones. Use the inside of your right foot to push the ball between the two cones. Finally, with the sole of your left foot, roll the ball outside the cone. Now you are back to the beginning. Perform the Figure 8 dribbling drill for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You may want to start out slow to get a rhythm, but make sure you quickly pick up the pace to perform this exercise as fast as possible. Remember, you will always alternate using your right foot and then left foot.
Inside Cut, Outside Push
Set up four cones in a rectangle. Start in the middle and outside the right two cones. Cut the ball with the inside of your right foot to the middle of the cones. Next, use the outside of your left foot to push the ball outside of the box of cones. Cut the ball with the inside of your left foot to the middle of the cones. Use the outside of your right foot to push the ball outside the box. You want to keep the ball dribble the ball on a straight line side to side. Make sure you cut the ball right underneath you. This will help keep the ball on a straight line and not allow a defender to poke it away.