Soccer Player Skill Development

The Secret to Trapping the Ball

When bringing a high ball down under control in one touch we often use the inside of our foot. There is nothing wrong with this approach but it is important to learn how to use the other parts of the foot depending on how the play is developing around you. Sometimes it is faster to bring the ball down with the top of your foot instead of the inside of the foot. However, when players try to bring the ball down with the top of their foot they often make a fundamental mistake which is: they use the laces part of the foot.

Although it appears that the pros are doing it this way it, they are not. The secret to bringing any ball down with the top of your foot, no matter the height of it, is to use your toes/more frontal part of the foot. The reason being your toes can cushion a ball whereas your laces cannot. After all, you want a delicate touch on the ball and your toes is what will cushion.

Watch this highlight video of Zidane trapping the ball. In it, he provides many examples of trapping a high ball out of the air or while on the run. The only way he can possibly set himself for a shot, an assist or his next move is to bring the ball down under control with complete precision. Using your toes to trap the ball is what worked for Zidane and many other professionals and will work for you. Watch closely the replays in this highlight sequence and you’ll see that it is the toes he uses to bring the ball down.

At your next training session practice on your own or with a partner kicking the ball high and trapping it with your toes. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is than the laces and how well it works. And remember, alway cushion the ball and be calm when you perform this skill. Good luck!

Philip MacDonald

By Philip MacDonald

The idea for Goalden is to help other soccer players of all ages improve the many different aspects of their game. We began coaching youth teams and watching youth soccer all over Ontario. We watched semi-professional and professional teams and noticed how far the game still has to develop here. From that, we decided we want to help others obtain the best information as early as possible in their soccer careers. We want to educate readers about the game of soccer and the fine details that are often overlooked by coaches in North America.

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