Shielding is exercising your arms and body to prevent a defender from taking the ball. Shielding helps you retain possession of the ball. Learn the skill, and you will be more active on the soccer field. This article will teach you how to shield appropriately and five situations where you should see the shield the ball. Here are some useful tips on how to shield a soccer ball.
Six steps to learn how to shield a soccer ball
1. Get in an athletic position
Bend your knees, lower your butt, and stand firm. Use this strong position because it helps you stay balanced and creates leverages to push against incoming defenders.
2. Stand sideways.
Don’t stand backward. The defender will poke his foot between your legs. Stand sideways to put more space between the ball and the defender. Move the ball to the foot farthest away from the defender.
3. Put your arms out
Putting your arms out helps you keep balance, creates more space between the ball and the defender, and lets you feel where he is moving. Don’t hold out your arms and push. Put one arm out when the defender tries to take the ball then let it drop after you make contact with the player. If you hold your arm out straight for too long, you will get penalized. Repeatedly put your arm out and drop it. Put your arm on the defender but don’t push him. Read our article How to Use Your Arms in Soccer for more information.
4. Push with your body
Don’t play defense. Use your body to push the defender. You need sufficient upper body strength to use your body effectively. Read Fitness Training in Soccer: A Scientific Approach to learn how to become strong. If you are about to lose your balance or the defender is overpowering you, move around (see step 5) to maintain possession.
5. Move around
Defenders will get vicious when you shield. They will do everything they can to overpower you and take the ball. Do their job hard by moving around while shielding. Use your arms to feel where the defender is moving. Shift your body and the ball in the opposite direction. Move so that you always keep the defender at your side with the ball on foot farthest away from him.
6. Look for options
While shielding, pick your head up and look for potential passes. See our article on How to Develop Vision in Soccer for more information. Passing is usually the best option. However, you can break free of the defender and start dribbling if you push him off balance with your body.
5 Situations When You Should Shield the Ball
1. You can’t get past a player
Shield when you can’t beat a player, and you can’t pass or shoot the ball quickly.
2. You have no options, and a defender comes from behind
If there is little open space, your teammates marked, you’re too far away from goal to shoot, and a defender is coming from behind shield the ball to retain possession. Consider passing the ball backward.
3. You’re in a tight spot
Sometimes you get stuck in an uncomfortable place and don’t have many options. For instance, you are near the corner flag and a defender charges at you. Shield the ball in these situations and wait for a defender to poke the ball out of bounds or kick the ball off a defender.
4. You’re in the defending third
Losing the ball in the defensive side of the field can be devastating, so defenders often shield the ball when putting under high pressure. Shield the ball to keep possession then clear the ball or kick the ball off the opposition. If the ball is rolling in your defensive third, consider shielding (without touching the ball), so it moves out of play.
5. To perform a game
Some sports require shielding to pull off successfully. For instance, when doing an overlap, the player who holds the ball should shield it.
This list is not extensive. There are many situations where shielding the ball is ideal. When your shielding ability improves, you will shield naturally in appropriate conditions.
In this part, you have learned how to shield a soccer ball. But facts mentioned in this part are just a small part of what you want to know as the soccer player. To get an update, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram.