Exercises to Be a Better Soccer Left Back
The left back position in soccer, also called the left fullback, requires good ball control and running. Standing left of the stopper, you must be able to get around the opposite team's players and help get the ball down the field toward your goal. Including drills and exercises in your practice sessions emphasizes these skills and improves your game.
If your team loses control of the soccer ball during a game, the other team might gain possession and score a point. The step across is a drill that involves stepping over the ball to keep it from being stolen. To do this, you must get in front of the ball as an opponent gets close to you. This skill is important for a left back because he must retain control of the ball and prevent the opposing team from getting it. Practice this exercise with a teammate, and simulate a situation you might encounter during a game. Pair up and get close to each other, mimicking game play, and practice moving the ball behind you to protect it. Once the ball is behind you, rest your back foot on it to keep it in place.
Part of the job of a left back is to move around the players on the opposite team to help get the ball down the field and into the goal. Evasion exercises enhance this skill by helping the left back practice techniques to keep the ball while running. To practice this skill, isolate two players in a 5-by-10-foot area, and allow them to take turns playing the left back position and working to alternately protect and attempt to steal the ball. This drill is called one-on-one and emphasizes dribbling and evasion skills.
Paying attention to the other players on the field is an important part of any soccer position, including a left back. Knowing where your teammates and opponents are helps you determine in which direction to dribble the ball and who to kick it to as you advance toward your goal. Agility exercises are good options for helping a left back hone this skill. Set up cones in varied patterns, and dribble the ball around and in and out of the cones. Have teammates along the way jump out and try to steal the ball, which enhances concentration and ball manipulation skills.
Receiving and Passing
Because a left back spends a portion of each soccer game with possession of the ball, exercises that reinforce receiving and passing the ball are important for improving his game. A drill that allows for practice of these skills involves dividing a soccer team in half and having both groups of players line up and stand facing each other, a few feet apart. Each player on one side of the line has a soccer ball, which he passes to the player across from him. That player receives the ball and passes it back. Each line of players takes a step back, widening the gap and the drill is repeated. Continue moving backward and passing and receiving the ball back and forth.
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