If a young player can begin to develop their ‘weak foot’ it will allow them to stand out from the rest. This article explores five different ways why being able to use both feet can help in-game situations.
5 Reasons why practising with both feet is so beneficial:
Being able to use both feet well can massively improve a player’s ability to dribble with the ball. It means they can shift their weight more easily from side to side when they move with the ball.
Being comfortable with either foot means that a player can move to either side with ease making it hard for defenders to predict. When defending players will often try and show the oncoming attacker onto their weaker foot to gain an advantage, however, if the attacker is comfortable with the ball at both feet this attempt at gaining an advantage doesn’t work as well.
Speed of thought and speed of play are increasingly vital parts of the game. Using both feet can help both speed of thought and play. This is because actions can be executed when the ball is on either side of the body.
When players can comfortably receive the ball on either foot. It allows them to trap the ball and move it on quickly to a teammate. When playing with both feet and running with the ball a player’s stride can be interchangeable allowing both feet to move the ball forward when running with it.
Similar to unpredictability, disguise gives the defender uncertainty in the attacker's play. If a player uses both feet to disguise where the pass may go, it allows them to go either way past a defender.
Protecting and shielding the ball from defenders is such an important skill for young players to be developing. When playing with both feet this skill becomes much easier.
As a player moves to protect the ball they can lead with either foot, which allows the player protecting to switch the ball to the foot that’s furthest away from the defender and not be at a disadvantage because one foot is ‘weaker’. This also brings an air of unpredictability as the defender may not know which way the player will go.
Try these TopTekkers challenges that use both feet:
Ball Boxing: Bouncing the ball between both feet as many times as you can in 20 seconds.
Toe Taps: Tapping the top of the ball with both feet alternately but keeping the ball under control and close to your body.
Try these ones but using your weak foot:
One Touch Finishing: Finishing into the net with a first time shot. Practice this challenge just using your weaker foot and strive to better your score each time.
One Touch Passing: Passing against a wall with either foot. Try and just use your weaker foot as this will develop your touch as well as your passing skills.
Juggling - Feet Only: Keeping the ball up off the ground only using your feet. Again just try and focus on using only your weaker foot as it will help with your manipulation off the ball with said foot.