What is a Dummy in Soccer?

What is a Dummy in Soccer?

What is a dummy in soccer? No, we aren’t talking about the mannequins you see at stores. Instead, it’s a term that refers to a deliberate action of a soccer player pretending to play the ball but letting it pass by.

Dummies are often used as a deceptive tactic to confuse the opposing team. By pretending to play the ball, the player can trick the defender into thinking they need to react to the ball, leaving them out of position and creating an opening for the attacking team.

what is a dummy in soccer

Do dummies work? For sure! But, it takes the right timing and body movements to make it happen.

Basics of a Dummy in Soccer

In soccer, a dummy is a technique used to deceive an opponent by pretending to play the ball but instead leaving it for a teammate. It is a form of feinting (faking) that can create space, confusion, and scoring opportunities.

When a player does a dummy, they intentionally allow the ball to pass through their legs or step over it without touching it, fooling the defender into thinking they are going to control or shoot the ball. The idea is to make the opponent commit to a challenge or move out of position, leaving a gap for a teammate to exploit.

Here are some examples of dummies…

As you’ll notice in the video, dummies can be used in various situations, such as when receiving a pass, taking a shot, or crossing the ball. They require good communication, timing, and coordination between the players involved, as well as a high level of skill and awareness.

Some examples of dummies in soccer include:

  • A striker letting a through ball go past them to an attacking midfielder running behind the defense.
  • A midfielder stepping over a pass to draw in a defender and create space for a winger on the opposite side.

Dummies can be risky, as they rely on the opponent falling for the deception and not intercepting the ball. However, when executed successfully, they can be a powerful weapon in a team’s attacking arsenal.

Not that it matters too much but it does look amazing when it’s executed to perfection.

How to Execute a Dummy in Soccer

Body Positioning

Body positioning is crucial when it comes to executing a dummy in soccer. You need to position your body in a way that deceives the opponent into thinking that you are going to make a move with the ball. Here are some tips on how to position your body:

  • Face the opponent and make eye contact
  • Lean slightly in the direction you want the opponent to think you are going
  • Keep your head up and your eyes on the ball at all times


Timing is everything when it comes to executing a dummy in soccer. You need to time your move perfectly in order to deceive the opponent. Here are some tips on how to time your move:

  • Wait until the opponent is committed to making a move
  • Make your move at the last possible moment
  • Be confident and decisive in your movement

The Role of a Dummy in Soccer


The dummy is a useful technique for breaking down a defense and creating chances to score. A dummy is most effective when a defense is aggressive in pursuing the ball. The offensive players can deceive the player by letting it go through but it usually needs to be a hard pass on the ground to make it a successful dummy.

Creating Space

One of the primary roles of a dummy in soccer is to create space for the attacking team. By leaving the ball, the defender is forced to react, which creates gaps in the defense that can be exploited by the attacking team.

This space can be used to create passing lanes, make runs into the box, or take a shot on goal. The dummy can be particularly effective when used in combination with other techniques, such as feints and dribbling, to confuse defenders and create more space.

Setting Up Plays

Another important role of a dummy in soccer is to set up plays. By leaving the ball, a player can draw defenders out of position, opening up passing lanes and creating opportunities for teammates to make runs into space.

The dummy can also be used to set up more complex plays, such as one-two passes, where the original player receives the ball back from a teammate who has taken advantage of the space created by the dummy. The dummy is an essential technique for building attacking plays and creating scoring opportunities.

This actually happened in one of my son’s games last week. He and his teammate did a one-two and the passer let it go through his legs and their team was on a break and scored.

Importance of a Dummy in Soccer Strategy

By using a dummy, you can confuse the opposing team’s defenders, making them think that you are going to play the ball. This can create a gap in their defense, allowing your teammate to run through and take a shot on goal. It can also be used to create space for yourself or a teammate, giving you more time to make a pass or take a shot.

Dummies can be used in a variety of situations, such as when receiving a pass, taking a shot, or even when defending. By using a dummy, you can keep the opposing team guessing and disrupt their defensive strategy.

It is important to note that dummies should be used sparingly and with precision. If overused, they can become predictable and lose their effectiveness. Additionally, dummies require good communication and coordination with your teammates, so it is important to practice and develop this skill together.

Would I encourage it for 8-year-olds? No. But as they get to 13 years and older, some smart and savvy players will naturally do it out of instinct.

Overall, a dummy is a valuable tool in soccer strategy that can help create scoring opportunities and disrupt the opposing team’s defense. By mastering this technique, you can become a more effective player and help lead your team to victory.

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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