How can I improve my ability to stop while maintaining balance?

As a defender you will constantly be racing to get in position, but if you cannot stop yourself correctly, you might over pursue and provide advantage to the attacker.  Performing breakdown drills will help train your ability to quickly slow down while maintaining your balance and ability to react.  To begin, set one cone 10 meters away from you.  You can set this cone straight ahead, at an angle, or to your side.  It is important to work this drill from a variety of different positions.  To start, sprint to the cone.  Right before you arrive at the cone, perform a breakdown.  When breaking down,  widen your stance, quicken your feet, drop your center of gravity, and increase and shorten your arm swing.  Keep your feet close to the ground and take short, choppy steps.  This will allow you to be able to react quickly to changing circumstances.  Work on not breaking down too early.  You should aim to get to the cone and stop as quickly as possible while still maintaining your balance.  As you become better with this drill, add a 3 meter side shuffle out of the breakdown.  You can have a partner call out the direction you should go after breaking down, and this will help you react appropriately in a game situation.

Continue Learning about Soccer

Should my warm-up prior to a match be different than my practice warm-up?
Paul WinsperPaul Winsper
The general principles should be consistent between a training day and match day warm up. The need t...
More Answers
How do I avoid shin splints with all the running in soccer?
Intermountain HealthcareIntermountain Healthcare
Start training slowly, long before the soccer season to build up adequate strength in legs and butto...
More Answers
How important is recovery training for soccer players?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Recovery for soccer players is very important because of all the running demands of games and pr...
More Answers
What protective headgear is available for soccer players?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
Headgear available for soccer players is a 1.5- to 2-inch-wide foam headband or a soft helmet. E...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.