Covid got you down? Can’t get to the gym, can’t play soccer and can’t work with your team?
Well, a few years back, there was a Dutch coach who needed to recover from a heart attack. His doctors wouldn’t allow him to play and his wife wouldn’t allow him out of the house. His name was Wiel Coerver. The rest is history.
Coerver got out a soccer ball and started slowly working the ball foot to foot. Back in the day, U.S. coaches would teach ball sensitivity with toe taps on top of the ball. Coerver drew the ball backward with his sole and played it quickly forward with his instep. He cut the ball with the inside of his foot across the back of the other foot, and then played it diagonally forward with the new foot. A cut with the new foot behind the original foot completed what was named the Coerver Move.
In an area the size of a dining room table, Coerver worked out with the ball creatively. He then came up with the idea of making a book and a video of the numerous moves. He came to the U.S. and Coerver Moves took off. YouTube has many videos of the Coerver Method because the craze became a series of soccer camps in the U.S. that continue today under other coaches.
Coerver methodology was a blessing to the U.S. because it came at a time when coaches bemoaned the lack of creativity on the ball by U.S. international players. How could we teach what we couldn’t see or imagine? The then U.S.S.F. coaching director had his own book out showing ball sensitivity and some moves, but books and videos are light years apart for showing kids.
What’s the Covid inspired lesson for youth coaches who are bored? Get out a ball and work yourself out in the back yard. Become good enough to demonstrate yourself. Google “Coerver moves” or “Coerver method” and watch some short YouTube’s.
Don’t stop there, though. A move is no good unless it takes a player by a defender or into a new space. Make the move and combine it with acceleration into a new space. Use the outside of the right foot to tap the ball northeast around a defender and lean your left shoulder to protect it. Use the inside of the right to tap across the body northwest and lean the right shoulder to protect. Switch for the left foot. Beware the draw with the bottom of the foot. It’s slower and too close to the body to be effective in any but tight spaces.
Try making a tight circle around yourself with the outside of a foot. This can be called a flick. It’s great for the northeast diagonally forward move.
Use the inside of the foot for a circle around the body. This can be called a cutback. The cutback changes direction hard and quickly as needed to cross or serve the ball.
With the sole, move the ball in any direction. This can be called a draw. It’s a tight space move with body balance over the ball for a strong possession. But, it’s not as dynamic as a flick or cutback and it happens too close to a defender. Better hope for a whistle as the defender attacks. Use a sweeping spin to turn the ball around the body and blast forward with a flick.
Use the moves you see on YouTube as the foundation to get head and shoulders leaned into the dynamic new direction that you just played the ball.
You can become the coach who inspires players by showing some flair on the ball.
Coach Diane Boettcher Soccer Bon Vivant