Ground control and turning: inside-the-foot
December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
Inside-the-foot: This is the most commonly used surface to control a rolling ball along the ground. As the ball is approaching, the player should move towards the ball. This often has to be done at speed. when the controlling foot makes contact with the ball, the foot withdraws to take pace off the ball, while the body pivots on the non-kicking foot. The ball will roll across the front of the body as the player turns with the ball. This should be a fluid motion, allowing the player to continue in the opposite direction immediately out of the receiving technique.
For several reasons, players should practice taking a "quick look" over their shoulder while they are sprinting, or "checking" towards a ball being played to their feet. First, this brief picture will tell a player if she can turn, and in what direction, because of pressure. Also, it will let a player know what her options are before even receiving the ball; i.e., she will receive the ball and now connect with the wide midfielder, or she will receive the ball and dribble at speed into the open space behind her.
The modern player needs to be able to improvise even in the middle of receiving the ball. For example, as a player is receiving a pass, an unexpected opponent suddenly applies pressure from the side to which the player was going to run. Instead of continuing the motion forward, the player allows the receiving foot to bring the ball underneath the non-kicking leg, and then redirects the ball behind the leg, away from the pressure. The player pivots on the non-kicking foot to the outside and continues the movement forward with the ball.
© 2001 by April Kater and Robert "Butch" Lauffer
Article reprinted with permission from womenssoccer.com.