A Progressive Method to Teaching Fakes

In last week's post I discussed the first few fakes that I teach young players. I thought it would be a good idea to share HOW I teach these fakes to players as young as six and seven.

I set up by arranging a set of cones in the pattern below.

This allows me to see everyone from the front of the group and it gives them the space they need to perform the fake. It also gives them a spot to return to after each repetition. In later stages, the players use the cone as a defender.

I have the player each choose a cone to put their ball next to and then have them line up on field line so that I can demonstrate the fake and break it down for them. Each fake can usually be broken down into two or three steps. The steps I use for the Matthew's are:

  • Step forward on a diagonal with the left while cradling the ball with the inside of the right foot.
  • Touch the ball forward on a diagonal with the right foot while hopping along the same diagonal with the left foot.
  • Play away with the outside of the right foot and accelerate for 5 yards.

As I demonstrate the fake and give the players the three steps, I ask them questions to get them to think about the fake. Here are some of the questions I ask about the Matthew's:

  • What part of my foot touches the ball first? (Inside)
  • What does my left foot do while the inside of my right foot is touching the ball? (Hopping forward diagonally)
  • Where am I standing after the touch and hop? (Next to the ball)
  • What part of my foot plays it away? (Outside of the foot)
  • Do I use the same foot or different feet for the two touches? (Same)

Then I send the players back to their ball. They start by standing in front of their cone with the ball at their feet. We go through the steps one-by-one as I say, "Go". They pause after each step so that I can make sure everyone understand what we're trying to do. Once everyone has the basics I'll let them start and stop on their own while I move around the group giving high fives to those doing a great job and helping correct those who are having trouble.

Once all of the players are able to perform the fake comfortably  I have them start behind the cone and perform the move around the cone as a defender. At this stage we talk about moving the ball from one side of the cone (defender) to the other. "Fake one way, go the other."

The next step is to move farther away from the cone and take one touch to get the ball moving and then perform the fake. This step always brings about technical breakdowns. With the Matthew's, the players start to leave out the hop which reduces the effectiveness of the fake. It's important to remind the players of the steps and that each one is important.

The last stage of this progression is to have the players dribble all around the area of cones performing the fake. At first I encourage them to do the move in the spaces between the cones at first. Only after that is easy for them do I ask them to go at the cones like defenders. Again, make sure that the players are performing the moves correctly and not dribbling too fast. I tell them to dribbling in under control, fake the defender and explode away. "The move fakes the defender, the play away beats them."

When I'm first teaching a move I have the players focus on going through every stage with their, "favorite foot" before I ask them to try it with their other foot. I've found that it makes it much easier for them to transfer the steps to the other foot if they first become totally comfortable with their favorite foot.

That's how I progress the fakes like the ones in our Legendary 1 v 1 DVD. Is there anything that you do differently that works well for you?

Have a great day!


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