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The Scoop Turn: Lifting Over Defenders

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    Sports Tips

The Scoop Turn: Lifting Over Defenders

The scoop turn remains one of soccer's most elusive yet effective tricks. When executed with precision, it can leave defenders scrambling and create decisive opportunities for your team. This article deep-dives into the mechanics of the scoop turn, provides practical coaching tips, and highlights key scenarios where lifting the ball over a defender is your golden ticket.

Technique Breakdown

The Basics

Imagine weaving through defenders like Lionel Messi or threading a pass with the finesse of Kevin De Bruyne. The scoop turn allows you to do just that by lifting the ball delicately over an opponent's foot or tackle.

  1. Foot Placement: Position your standing foot adjacent to the ball, ensuring that you are balanced and can pivot quickly.
  2. Scoop Motion: Use the inside of your other foot to get under the ball, executing a swift flick from the ground up.
  3. Body Lean: Lean slightly forward to maintain control of the ball and to keep the scoop smooth and seamless.
  4. Follow Through: Complete the motion by advancing past the defender, maintaining your speed and balance.

Pro Tips

  • Eye Contact: Before lifting the ball, make brief eye contact with approaching defenders to gauge their movements.
  • Practice Drills: Repetitive scooping drills with cones can enhance muscle memory.
  • Foot Strength: Strengthen your ankle and foot muscles through resistance bands and lightweight exercises for more effective lifts.

Coaching Wisdom

Drills to Master the Scoop Turn

Effective coaching balances repetition with real-game scenarios. Here are some proven drills to help players perfect the scoop turn:

1. Cone Weaving

Set up a series of cones 1 meter apart in a straight line. Have players dribble through the cones, executing a scoop turn at every third cone.

DrillFocus AreaDuration
Cone WeavingFootwork & Balance15 minutes

2. 1v1 Scenarios

Create 1v1 situations where the attacker must use the scoop turn to get past a static defender.

DrillFocus AreaDuration
1v1 ScenariosDecision Making10 minutes

3. Small-Sided Games

Encourage use of the scoop turn in controlled 5v5 games, emphasizing practical application.

DrillFocus AreaDuration
Small-Sided GamesGame Simulation20 minutes

In-Game Scenarios

1. Close-quarters Play

When surrounded by defenders with limited passing lanes, the scoop turn can create the necessary space to execute a successful pass or shot.

2. Under Pressure

When an immediate challenge is coming, lifting the ball over the defender’s foot minimizes risk and maintains possession.

3. Quick Counterattacks

During fast breaks, a well-timed scooped pass can send a teammate through on goal, bypassing the defensive line.

Player Perspectives

Testimonials from the Pros

  • “The scoop turn is my go-to when I'm locked in tight spaces. It’s saved me countless times,” says Andrés Iniesta.
  • “Mastering this move took my game to the next level. It’s about finesse and timing,” notes Marta, the Brazilian legend.


The scoop turn, while seemingly simple, is a nuanced technique that combines skill, timing, and vision. Practice it diligently, apply it wisely in games, and watch as defenders become helpless spectators to your magic. With this trick in your arsenal, you’re set to elevate your offensive play and leave opponents in the dust.

Quote of the Day: "Skill is only developed by hours and hours of work." - Usain Bolt

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks to elevate your soccer game. Happy training!