Posts Tagged ‘Hans de Graef’

Are You Right or Left Footed?

October 12, 2009

The instructor for my E/D coaching license was Hans de Graef. Great guy. Must have been in his 60s at the time. He was recovering from knee surgery caused by a parachute accident. But he was still out there. I guess very little kept him from the soccer field. But I digress.

One of the questions he asked each coach during the course was whether he/she was right or left footed? I, along with most of the other coaches answered right footed and like most of the other coaches, I was wrong. The correct answer was, “both”. To this day I still remember that question and pose it to every player I coach.

Whenever I ask the question, a lot of kids will argue that ‘both’ was not an option. Had it been, they naturally would have chosen ‘both’. This may be true but on the soccer field, when young players are given the option of controlling or shooting the ball, they will often choose to play the ball with their dominant foot.

It is critical for youth soccer players to develop proficiency and a high degree of comfort with both feet. This means:

  • Practice juggling with both feet
  • Not running around a ball to play it with the dominant foot
  • Shooting the ball with the weaker foot
  • Playing on the left side of the field when the preference is the right side

Players will always have a dominant foot and that is OK. But good players will easily be able to play any ball with either foot (or leg). If you want to be a good player, always remember the preferred answer to the question, “Are you right or left footed?”

“Coach, I am BOTH.”