This holding the ball drill is a simple and effective way to give your forwards multiple reps holding the ball verses defensive pressure. Forwards are often times asked to hold the ball as the ball comes to them from the back. They may need to hold the ball vs pressure for four to five seconds as the wait for teammates to get up into position to attack.

The drill is called Hold It or Dog Fights and is presented by Brent Ridenour, the winningest coach in Ohio Northern Men’s Soccer history. The clip below is from a DVD that was created to help coaches develop stronger play in the attacking half of the field, reduce turnovers and created more scoring opportunities for your target players. For more information about the DVD click the link Creating to Win: Attacking in the Final Third

The YouTube video has sound, so please makes sure that your sound is turned and that you have access to YouTube. (Some school block access to YouTube)

The drill set up is as follows. A 12 x 12 area is marked off and a forward will begin in the middle of the field. Five other players are placed around the perimeter of the marked off area. One player will serve the ball into the forward and them call out one of the names of the teammates surrounding the forward in the middle. The players whose name was called will then rush to the forward and pressure as much as possible to win the ball.

The forward must recognize where the pressure is coming from and turn away from the defender. He then must keep low, protect the ball and hold off the defender until one of his teammates on the perimeters calls “man on”. At this point he will pass the ball to the teammate and defender leaves the playing area.

Another ball is served into the forward and a different defender from a different position rushes in. Again the forward must hold the ball for about 4-5 seconds before passing to a teammate. Give each player 4-5 reps and then rotate.

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