Shielding the ball

Exercise description: 20x20 with eight players. Four mini-goals are placed as shown. Two coaches, each facing a group of players. Designate a team to receive the ball, this case is the blue team.

1. A blue player moves towards the coach and receives the ball. They are followed by an orange defender, who gets touch tight and takes the defensive stance.

2. The blue player shields the ball and attempts to turn and score on one of the two mini goals behind them.

3. If the orange player wins the ball, they can score on the two mini goals to their right or pass the ball to the serving coach.
4. Once that is over, the other coach serves in the ball to a blue player from the other group.

5. Rotate the roles. Oranges now attack.

Coaching points: Shield the ball. Know where the ball is. Understand the space to attack. Where is your opponent? Turn and make a pass into the goal. If the ball is lost, react to win it back.

Intended outcome:

  • To get the players to use their body to protect the ball.

  • To teach the players that when the situation arrives on the field, they have an understanding of how to execute the skill.

  • Getting the players comfortable and performs quick turns to get the pass off or to get away from the opponent.

  • Feel the contact from opponents.

  • The use of your arms to protect the ball.


Serve the ball in. The first player to the ball is the one who shields it.

Technical / Tactical:

  • Body shape when shielding

  • Keep the ball a good distance from the defender

  • Use your arms to keep the defender away

  • Fake turn and explode away

  • Pass to the goal is accurate


  • Be ready to interact with teammates.

  • Communicate.

  • Applaud good play and work ethic from teammates.

  • Offer help if you understand the exercise

  • Have fun!


  • Be willing to compete and have contact with your opponent.

  • Use your body strength

  • Be ready to react first.

  • If you lose the ball, win it back.


  • Be ready to focus

  • Embrace failure.

  • Remember the instructions of the exercise. Embrace the 1v1.

  • Decision-making can only happen if we are open to finding answers.

  • Visualize playing in a game.

Possible Performance Problems:

Players will not use a strong arm to shield the ball. No contact is made. There needs to be contact from both the defender and the attacker.