What Is a Trap in Soccer?

What Is a Trap in Soccer?

In soccer, a trap is stopping and gaining possession of the ball after receiving a pass from a teammate or a misplaced pass from an opponent. “Receiving” or “controlling” the ball is another name for trapping.

Choosing how to trap the ball and which part of your body to use is determined by your position on the field, the positioning of your teammates, the positioning of your opponents and the path of the ball.

In this article, we’ll go over the different ways a soccer player can trap the ball.

What Kinds Of Soccer Trappings Are There?

One quality that separates elite soccer players from others is their ability to get and keep possession of the ball in confined areas, opening up passing lanes or goal-scoring chances where none previously existed.

Imagine Neymar or Messi making a quick turn and pass, transitioning into an exciting dribble, or fooling a defender with a shoulder drop to open up a scoring opportunity.

It’s common practice to begin these sequences with a one-touch trap. Though some may be born with an inherent talent, trapping is a skill every player can and should develop early on.

Below are various traps that can widen your knowledge and help you wow your teammates.

trapping in soccerStep Trap

Using the bottom of your foot as a “trap” to control the ball is called a “step trap” or a “stud trap.”

This style of trap is good for completely stopping the ball. While the step trap was the first kind of trapping to be developed, it is increasingly rare to see it used in current games due to the increased complexity and speed of the game.

Instep Trap

The instep trap occurs when players capture the ball with inside of their foot or instep, as the name implies. The most common trap in soccer is the instep trap, generally the initial touch of a player seeking to dribble, shoot, or pass the ball.

Outstep Trap

A player who traps the ball with their outside and middle of their foot is said to be using an outstep trap.

It’s not as smooth as the instep trap, but it may be utilized to fool opponents and set up a pass or shot in an unexpected direction.

Laces Trap

When the ball is bounced high into the air, players often utilize their laces to capture it as it descends. It takes a lot of expertise to catch the bouncing ball in your laces before it reaches the ground since the ball tends to bounce around a lot.

The best way to think about this is to cushion the fall of the ball. This is similar to the egg toss where you bring your hand back as the egg falls.

If you attempt to perform a laces trap after your opponent has punted the ball into the air, they will likely pressure you since they have more time to predict the ball’s trajectory.

Thigh Trap

Another technique that comes in handy when a punted ball is headed straight for you is the thigh trap.

It’s possible you misread the ball’s trajectory and ended up catching it with your thigh instead of your laces.

Catching the ball with your thigh is a natural reaction when opponents are coming in quickly, but it may also be a tactical choice when you need to get possession of the ball quickly and your foot is too far away.

In this case, the ball needs to be at an appropriate height; not too high where you’ll simply use your head and not too low where you are bending down just to get a thigh on it.

Chest Trap

Trapping it on your chest is a faster method of gaining control of a falling ball than utilizing either your thigh or foot. The circumference of your chest allows for the ball to hit your body and fall almost directly down in front of you.

Typically, a chest trap would be used when the ball is in the air from a weak pass or throw-in.

A chest trap can spark a quick pass, shot or dribble.

Mastering the Trap

Because trapping the ball is such a crucial skill on the field, all players should keep practicing, no matter what level they are.

Training with smaller soccer balls may help players become more adept at catching the game’s standard-size balls.

Once you’ve learned the fundamental traps, the game will slow down, and you’ll be able to play soccer with much more composure.

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      Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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