Four-Corner Shielding Drill

Chris Johnson 21,482 Views Rating 0 (0 Reviews)

This is a great drill for teaching the basics of shielding as it focuses on positioning your body between the ball and the defender to protect the ball.

Soccer Drill Diagram: Four-Corner Shielding Drill

Soccer Shielding, How to Shield in Soccer

This drill teaches players how to shield in soccer. It's a good soccer drill for teaching the basics of shielding.
Drill Setup

  1. Create a 12x12 grid with 5 players per grid.
  2. Four players stand at each of the four corners of the grid while the fifth player starts in the middle with a ball.
  3. Number each of the four players on the corners 1-4.
  4. Create as many grids as needed for the number of players, as multiple grids can be run simultaneously. 
Drill Instructions

  1. The coach will yell out a number of the corner, and that defender will enter the grid and attempt to poke the ball away from the center-shielding player.
  2. In the first iteration, do not allow the shielding player to touch the ball and simply focus on using their body to keep the defender off the ball.
  3. The shielding player should quickly position their body between the ball and the defender in an attempt to keep the ball from the defender.
  4. If the shielding player is able to keep the defender from touching the ball for 5 seconds, they receive a point.
  5. If the defender knocks the ball away, they should play the ball back to the center player and return to their corner. 
  6. The players return to their position, and the coach calls out another number.
  7. Let all of the players have a chance to be the shielding player.
  8. Keep track of points where the player with the highest point count in their grid wins after all players have a chance to be the shielding player.
Drill Variations

  • Allow the shielding player to move the ball around to keep their body between the ball and the defender.
  • The coach can call out two numbers to increase the difficulty.
Drill Coaching Points

  • Position the body sideways between the ball and the defender
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Arms up and away from their body, bent at the elbows
  • Arm closest to the defender touching the defender to help hold off the defender
  • Wide stance and the ball held with the outside foot farthest from the defender
  • Ability to move the ball with the bottom, inside, outside, and top of both feet
  • Ability to spin out of pressure if the defender commits to defending a single direction

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