I'm in favor of teaching young players to be very comfortable and confident with the ball by teaching them different fakes . During the initial learning phase I want the players to use them every time they get the ball. Some coaches have told me that you can't teach creativity but I think you give them the tools and then teach them how to use them. This can look a bit rough at first as the kids get comfortable with the fakes but if they use them enough they learn when to use a move and when to choose another option.
There are so many different fakes you can teach that an important question becomes which ones to introduce to your players? I also believe that it's important to decide which fakes to teach first, second and so on. If you teach them in an order that is easy for the players to understand then one can build on another.
The first thing I want the players to understand is that they're not just doing a, 'move' or 'trick' (I hate that description!). They're trying to FAKE the defender into believing they're going one way but then playing away in the other direction. For this reason I always start with a scissors. Just about every fake has two or three different names that it goes by depending on the coach but this is my post so I'm going to use my names 🙂 Here's a video that shows some great examples of the scissors.
The next fake I teach the players is a Matthew's. I like this one because it is a ball and body fake. A good defender who watches the ball will be taken in by this fake if it's done well. This video shows a lot of footage of Sir Stanley Matthews who made the fake famous. You can skip to 1:45 and 2:39 to see some great examples of the man in action.
Once the players can do these fakes well with both feet I teach them the Maradonna turn. I wait until the players understand that they're not just doing, 'moves' to teach this one because it can turn into just spinning on the ball if down wrong. It's also best done as a second move if the defender doesn't bit on the first one. To be effective with this move you have to get the defender to turn their hips in the direction of the fake so that you can drag the ball back and take it away with the sole of the foot in the direction. The start of this video is a bit annoying. Skip the first 40 seconds and you'll see some great examples of the fake.
There are obviously many others but these are the first three fakes to beat a player that I teach. There are also a series of change of direction movements that the kids learn first so that they can control the ball well but I'll cover those in a future post.
Do you feel that teaching fakes is important? Which ones do you focus on and why?
Have a great day,