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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.

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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.