With the likelihood of the 2026 World Cup being hosted in North America, there no longer is any doubt whether soccer is a popular sport in the United States. In fact, an article on Bloomberg went so far as to say that with baseball and basketball already being mature sports, soccer could well be the sport of the future for America. What’s more, 37% American adults picked football as their favorite sport to watch in 2018, according to a survey by Gallup. To play a football match to your best ability, you need to be able to juggle, pass and shoot accurately. However, dribbling remains the most important aspect of the game, helping you keep control of the ball.
However, dribbling also means sudden and quick leg movements, which could wreak havoc on the knees. Football knee braces come with anti-slip silicone strips for a comfortable fit and soft edges for perfect support, according to experts at Aidfull. A well-protected knee can help you dribble freely, without having to worry about ligament damage or patellar tendonitis. In fact, football knee braces for football players are designed keeping certain conditions, like ACL injuries, in mind. Besides protection, here’s what can help you dribble your way to winning a match.
Confined Dribbling Drill
This is way more difficult than long-distance drills and requires ultimate precision. You need to be mindful of the opponent, while keeping the ball under control. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to dribble the ball between cones, placed at a distance of 2 feet from each other. Consider reducing the distance between the cones to be able to practice tighter moves. While practicing, wear supports for football injuries to protect against twists and tears.
The top and sides of your toes are used the most while dribbling. Therefore, invest in full coverage football ankle braces to prevent ligament tears or hairline fractures. Now, keep bouncing the ball off the wall back and forth at least 20 times every day. Repeat this with both feet, by using laces and the insides of the foot. To be able to strengthen your flexes, you need to stand at least 6 to 12 feet from the wall, juggle the ball and push it back, according to an article on Vocal. In case you are practicing free kicks against the wall, don’t forget to put on your football ankle and wrist braces for safety.
To hone inside-outs and crossover dribbles, you can line up 10 cones at least 15 feet from each other. Start dribbling the ball with the inside and outside of your feet. Try to circle right and left, and cover each cone, without knocking it over. The cones act as defenders, present in different areas of the field. You can practice 1×2 sets with 3 repetitions for each variation.
Work on Shielding Skills
Shielding is one of the most important dribbling techniques, in which you have to position yourself between the ball and the opponent. Body control is extremely important, without which you might suffer a muscle pull or strain while defending. Consider practicing this skill while wearing a football shoulder brace to prevent shoulder tears while you shield the ball and pass it to a teammate.
Football knee braces for football players are specifically designed to protect against MCL sprain, ACL tears and meniscus tears. While perfecting your moves, make sure to wear the protective gear at all times.