Shielding the Ball in Soccer: Ultimate Techniques and Tips

Regardless of the level of the game, shielding the ball in soccer is an essential drill. This is exclusively true for players in specialized positions, but it is applicable to everyone. Shielding the ball in soccer is a skill in which players use their bodies to create a barrier between the opponent and the soccer ball.


The soccer players accurately utilize their bodies as a shield to protect the ball and make it more difficult for the opponent to grab it. It may appear simple, but these tactics can assist you in protecting the ball appropriately. It is more than merely placing your body in the manner, as expert defenders can still nick the soccer ball if done incorrectly.


What is the Need to Learn by Shielding the Ball in Soccer?


The excellent answer is to keep control of the soccer ball. Depending on the game’s situation, shielding the soccer ball can assist your teammates in defense and offense.


Defense Shielding


Consider a team that is up 1-0 in the ninetieth minute, immediately before the game concludes. A winning team member wins possession of the ball and swiftly moves it toward the corner flag, protecting it from the other team. In that situation, protecting the soccer ball is a defensive strategy to possess control of the ball.


The player ensures that the other team can’t score in the final minute. They cannot score unless they gain possession.


Offense Shielding


Consider a lone striker receiving the soccer ball with their back to the goal & defender behind them. The player can’t turn without being dispossessed, and there are no instant possibilities for passing the ball. In this situation, shielding the ball in soccer can be a significantly effective approach to keep the defender busy when waiting for help from a teammate. When such help arrives, the attacker can give up the ball and keep the attack going.


There are numerous other situations of defense & attack where protecting the soccer ball may be needed.


How to Shield the Ball in Soccer?


There are two most commonly used ball shielding techniques in soccer:


1. Back to Body Ball Shielding Technique


The first technique for shielding the ball in soccer is back to the body. This is a situation when the soccer player holding the ball stands between the challenger and the soccer ball having his/ her back to the other team’s player.


 The player takes a stance that buffers the body for the collision while remaining low to the field. The player can also hold their arms out in order to prevent the other team’s player from reaching around them.


2. Side-to-Body Ball Shielding Technique


The second technique for shielding the ball in soccer is side-to-body. In this situation, the player protects the ball by standing between the ball and the other team’s player sideways. This strategy further extends the space between the challenger and the soccer ball.


In this standing position, one foot of the player in possession will be further away from the other team’s player. That foot should have possession of the soccer ball.


 If your position is incorrect when using the back-to-body approach, the opponent player can steal the soccer ball. The “Side to Body” approach helps players reduce that risk.


Learning the ball shielding techniques can significantly help you to boost your performance. There we bring some ultimate tips to help you to learn strategies for shielding the ball in soccer.


Tips for Shielding the Ball in Soccer:


If you want to know how to protect the ball in soccer, look at the following soccer shielding tips to improve your control over the ball:


  • Maintain your head up & be responsive to your surroundings. You must understand where your challenger is coming from.
  • After determining from where the pressure will come, take the proper posture.
  • To extend the distance between yourself and your opponent, keep the foot holding the ball farther away from the other foot.
  • The back-to-body approach is good for shielding the ball in soccer if the purpose of protecting the ball is simply giving it up to a teammate.
  • Remember to utilize your arms; just don’t swing them at your opponent; instead, use them as an extra barrier.
  • The rules of soccer sport permit you to place your arm on the opponent’s chest just for balance but do not push the player, as this is a foul.
  • For improved balance, if you’re standing sideways and placing one arm on your opponent’s chest, raise your other arm in the other direction.
  • Do not merely wait for your rival to push against you before taking a firm stance; instead, utilize your upper body strength properly to prepare ahead.




Now you understand all the essential skills for shielding the ball in soccer, but you can learn much more by watching professional games and practicing these skills. These skills can sound easy, but getting expertise takes a lot of practice. You will be an expert if you implement all you learn correctly!