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This Practice Game teaches bravery and aggressive play, that soccer is a physical game and to not be afraid of contact or being bumped or pushed, strength on the ball to maintain possession while dribbling, shielding the ball to maintain possession when challenged, a legal Shoulder Tackle, challenging for the ball to slow the attack and how to legally push a player off the ball. Soccer is a physical game and in real soccer games, it is critical for players to be able to challenge for the ball and also to be able to retain possession of the ball when they are dribbling. The opposing players will try to use a "Shoulder Tackle" to push your players off the ball when they are dribbling, so they can steal the ball or slow down your attack. Your players need to learn what is called "Strength on the Ball" so they aren't easily pushed off the ball when dribbling. Young players often aren't used to physical play, but the fact is that the more physical team will usually win, so you must teach your players how to be physical so they have a chance to be successful. At the very least, you don't want them to fall apart and give up when their opponents are physical and aggressive. This game teaches defenders how to legally use their shoulder to push an opponent off the ball, which is called a "Shoulder Tackle" (and also called a "Shoulder Charge") and it also teaches players how to avoid being pushed off the ball while dribbling (which is called "Strength on the Ball"). It will get your players used to contact, which is very important, and teach them to play more aggressively. Soccer is a physical game and by U8 the more physical teams will start to have an advantage. Most parents prefer the word "brave" to "aggressive", so it might be better to talk about teaching players to be "brave". If your players aren't prepared and get pushed off the ball, they will get frustrated. This game teaches players how to shield the ball and to have "strength on the ball" so they can retain possession, and how to legally try to steal the ball from the opposing player who has the ball. As you can see from the Testimonials, it really works. I get lots of letters from coaches about how valuable this game is.
"Shoulder Tackle", "Shielding", "Strength on the Ball".
TIP: Tell the players without the ball that it is like "cutting line". (This tip from Coach Troy)
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