THE SIDE STEP
Main Teaching Points
1. Watch your opponent closely.
2. Hold the ball out to the side as the opponent approaches.
3. Push hard off the foot planted on the same side as the ball.
4. Pull the ball back quickly as you move around the opponent.
5. Ensure that you change direction and don’t run in a straight line.
Tips: Practise by rehearsing the movements without any opposition.
Add stationary opposition. Players can then rehearse the evasion skill at their own pace.
Finally, allow the opponent to walk slowly towards the ball carrier, providing more game-like opposition.
The blind turn is used to evade an opponent when the player is being chased from behind and you are heading away from the direction of your goal.
To turn on the left side:
- As the opponent gets closer, hold the ball out to the right hand side.
- Dig the right foot into the ground and push hard to step to the left hand side as in the side step.
- Pull the ball back ‘inside’ towards your team’s goal and accelerate quickly away.
Tip: Make sure you have good control and grip of the ball when you execute the blind turn. You don’t want to ‘show’ the ball to an opposition player and have him steal it!
Some players have an amazing ability to change direction without greatly reducing their speed. The dummy is a movement used to evade an opponent approaching head on.
Main Teaching Points
1. As the opponent approaches, shape to handball or kick in a forward direction. The player must look in that direction so as to give his opponent the impression of handballing or kicking in that direction.
2. As the opponent moves to smother the football, the player draws in the ball and moves around him by pushing off hard as in the side step.
3. The player is then in the clear and can accelerate away past the opponent. Again, changing direction is important.
Use this tactic when you are stationary and an opponent is running towards you quickly.
Tip: Even in your own backyard, you can practise the dummy by stepping around a bin or similar object.