Shielding involves using your body to protect the ball from the opposing player. This allows you to get or maintain possession of the ball and create more opportunities for your team.
It’s one of those intangible skills that will benefit you as you get older.
Players who can shield the ball effectively become better defenders and get more chances on the ball offensively.
In this article, I’ll provide some advice on the how and why of shielding the ball.
How to Shield the Soccer Ball
To effectively shield the ball, you should position your body between the ball and the opposing player.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. This will help you maintain balance and stability while shielding the ball.
It’s important to use your arms and shoulders to create space between you and the opposing player.
Keep your arms bent and your elbows out to help protect the ball and prevent the opposing player from reaching around you.
Note, that if you shove or extend your arms in any way, you may get called for a foul!
Remember, shielding is not just about protecting the ball. It’s also about creating opportunities for your team.
Use your body first, and then make plays!
Is Shielding Legal in Soccer?
Yes, shielding is legal in soccer.
As long as you don’t force your entire body or extend your arms to shove your opponent, you should be able to shield the ball.
Shoulder-to-shoulder contact is always fine as long as it is not deemed to be excessive force or dangerous play.
Why Should You Shield the Ball?
When you shield the ball, you use your body to protect the ball from the opposing players.
This technique is particularly helpful when you are under pressure and need to keep the ball away from the other team.
Shielding can also be used to create space on the field. When you receive the ball, you can use your body to shield it from the opposing player and create space to move into.
This is useful when you are trying to get past a defender or find an open teammate.
Letting the Ball Go Out of Bounds
On some occasions, you’ll want to shield the ball so that the ball goes out of bounds and it is your goal kick or throw in.
This type of shielding may take some extra stability as the opposition will try to go around and through you to get the ball.
There’s no doubt that shielding a soccer ball is an important aspect of the game.
I would say as you get older, there will be more opportunities to shield the ball. Also, if a team is very aggressive, shielding can counter their strategy.
I hope that helps! If you’ve made it this far, I hope you didn’t skip the video. Jump back up there if you did!