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How to Shield the Soccer Ball
Soccer Shielding Technique

How to shield the soccer ball?

Shielding is one very important skill that any player can develop, and should develop, as it is used constantly during any soccer match.

Shielding the soccer ball means putting your body in between the soccer ball and the player trying to take it away.

Many players out there wonder how they lose the soccer ball so easily once put under pressure from the opposing players; the biggest reason for losing the ball is NOT using the correct technique to actually protect the ball while maintaining balance.

The whole point of shielding the ball is to simply buy more time to come up with an option to pass, shoot, or dribble your way out of a tight situation.

When a player with the possession of the ball is put under pressure by the opposing players, good way to hold the ball off is to simply put your body in between the ball and the player trying to take the ball away from you.

Beginner soccer players usually shield the soccer ball by putting their backs into the defender which is quite ineffective because the defender can easily poke the ball through the players legs, side or simply push the player of the ball.

Turning sideways and putting your arm out while controlling the soccer ball with your foot is the best way to keep the defender away from the ball.

This is because the defender will have difficulty getting around you and to the soccer ball since you are positioning your body to come in between the ball and the defender while keeping him/her from going through your body by simply putting your arm up which also lets you feel the defender coming.

Learning the correct technique on how to shield the soccer ball is a great skill to possess for both defenders and attackers.


  • Always know your surroundings and where the defending players are coming from.
  • As you anticipate where the defending pressure is coming from you will want to start by getting in a strong balanced position by bending your knees, lowering your butt and finding a good stance.
  • Position your body sideways to improve your balance on the ball and to allow yourself to be able to control the ball with one foot while keeping your eye on where the opposing player is coming from and move accordingly.
  • The only time you will want to turn your back to a defender is when performing a quick one touch pass back to your teammate.
  • Big part of how to shield the soccer ball are your arms.
  • Legally you are allowed to put your arm on the defenders chest area for balance; however it is illegal to push the defender off using your arm.
  • You should be standing sideways leaning on the defender with one arm while using the other arm raised in front of you for better balance.
  • When shielding the ball, you do not want to wait for the defender to push into you. Instead you will want to be aggressive and use your upper body to firmly stand your ground.
  • If you feel like you are losing your balance, you can simply dribble away or flop forward to try and earn a foul :D
  • Balance plays the biggest part in successfully shielding a soccer ball and turning your body sideways will ensure that your balance is improved so that you cannot be pushed off the ball easily.
  • Attacking players will learn how to receive and keep the possession of the ball in dangerous areas of the field while looking for that goal scoring pass or shot.
  • Defending players should not take much risk trying to shield the soccer ball in dangerous defensive areas, instead play it safe and just kick the ball up the field or even out of bounds is a better idea.
  • Shielding the soccer ball when playing defense may cause another attacking player to join in and shielding the soccer ball from 2 or more players is much harder and that much riskier.

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