Asked by: Ping - who is new to the game and plays short stick defensive midfield!
Question: When a player is approaching you with speed, how can you better predict the direction they are going?
Answer from Nick: Hi Ping!
Thank you for your question! As a defensive midfielder myself I am very used to this issue of trying to predict which direction the player is going to go!
The first thing you would want to do is set yourself up so that you FORCE him the direction you want him to go. Now obviously there is room for a split or swim dodge but most of the time forcing him the direction you want to go will take away his option of dodging.
Do this by angling yourself up. For example, if he is dodging on the left side then position your body to have your right shoulder point diagonally to the sideline. By doing this you take away the opposite hand but also give yourself time to adjust if he does manage to switch hands.
When trying to predict which way he is coming and will be going - watch him at the hips. The hips will reveal which direction he is going to go by showing which way he is opening up his body to run. By seeing this you can meet him at the point of contact and drive him away from the goal.
Also watch his feet. Every player dodging accelerates on their lead foot. Which ever foot they put down and accelerate from that is the direction he will be going.
Thank you for your question and I hope this helps you when defending against a dodging player, I know it has helped me!