The Following Are the Basic Techniques in the Game of Football Except: A Comprehensive Guide to Football Skills and Strategies


Football, known as soccer in some parts of the world, is a globally beloved sport with a rich history and a diverse array of techniques that players must master. From dribbling to shooting, passing to defending, these skills form the foundation of the game. However, there are certain techniques or actions often mistaken as basic but do not necessarily fall into the core category of essential football skills. This article explores the fundamental techniques in football, their importance, and the common misconceptions about what constitutes basic football techniques.

Fundamental Techniques in Football

The game of football is built on a set of core skills that every player needs to develop. These fundamental techniques are crucial for both individual performance and overall team success. Here are the primary techniques in football:

1. Dribbling

Dribbling is the ability to move the ball past opponents while maintaining control. It is a critical skill for advancing the ball up the field and creating scoring opportunities. Key aspects of dribbling include:

  • Ball Control: Keeping the ball close to your feet to prevent opponents from taking it.
  • Change of Direction: Using quick turns and feints to evade defenders.
  • Speed: Being able to dribble at pace without losing control of the ball.

2. Passing

Passing involves transferring the ball to a teammate using various parts of the foot. It is fundamental for maintaining possession and creating attacking opportunities. Types of passes include:

  • Short Passes: Quick, accurate passes used to maintain possession.
  • Long Passes: Longer, lofted passes to switch play or reach a distant teammate.
  • Through Passes: Passes played into space for a teammate to run onto.

3. Shooting

Shooting is the technique of striking the ball towards the goal in an attempt to score. Effective shooting requires:

  • Accuracy: Placing the ball where the goalkeeper cannot reach.
  • Power: Striking the ball with sufficient force to beat the goalkeeper.
  • Technique: Using different parts of the foot to vary the shot’s trajectory and speed.

4. Tackling

Tackling is the act of dispossessing an opponent of the ball. It is a vital defensive skill that involves:

  • Timing: Making the tackle at the right moment to avoid fouling.
  • Technique: Using the correct body position and foot placement.
  • Aggression: Being assertive without being reckless.

5. Heading

Heading is the technique of using the head to play the ball, whether to pass, clear, or score. Key aspects include:

  • Timing: Judging the flight of the ball and timing the jump correctly.
  • Power: Generating power through the neck and upper body.
  • Accuracy: Directing the ball accurately to a teammate or towards goal.

6. Positioning

Positioning involves being in the right place at the right time to receive the ball, make a tackle, or intercept a pass. Good positioning is crucial for both attacking and defending and includes:

  • Spatial Awareness: Knowing where you and your teammates are on the field.
  • Anticipation: Predicting where the ball will go and moving accordingly.
  • Balance: Maintaining balance to react quickly to changes in play.

7. Goalkeeping

Goalkeeping is a specialized role with its own set of fundamental techniques, such as:

  • Shot Stopping: Making saves using various parts of the body.
  • Positioning: Placing oneself correctly to cover the goal.
  • Distribution: Effectively distributing the ball to teammates.

Common Misconceptions: Techniques Often Mistaken as Basic

While the above skills are fundamental, certain techniques or actions are often mistaken as basic football skills but do not fall into the core category. These include:

1. Advanced Tricks and Flicks

Techniques like stepovers, rabonas, and backheel passes are often mistaken as basic due to their visibility in professional games. However, they are advanced skills that require a higher level of proficiency and are not considered fundamental.

2. Tactical Understanding

While understanding tactics is crucial for playing football at a high level, it is not a basic technique. Tactical awareness involves knowledge of formations, strategies, and in-game decision-making, which goes beyond the scope of fundamental skills.

3. Physical Conditioning

Physical conditioning, such as strength, speed, and endurance, is essential for football players but is not a technique. It is more related to fitness and athletic preparation, which supports the execution of football techniques.

4. Psychological Skills

Mental toughness, focus, and resilience are critical for football players but are not technical skills. These psychological attributes enhance a player’s ability to perform under pressure but are developed separately from basic football techniques.

5. Team Dynamics

Team dynamics, such as communication and leadership, are vital for team success but are not considered basic techniques. They pertain more to interpersonal skills and team cohesion rather than individual technical abilities.

Detailed Analysis of Fundamental Techniques

To gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental techniques, it is important to examine each skill in detail, including its execution, importance, and common drills for improvement.

1. Dribbling


  • Basic Dribble: Use the inside and outside of the foot to push the ball forward.
  • Change of Pace: Vary the speed to throw off defenders.
  • Feints and Tricks: Use body movements to fake out opponents.


  • Dribbling is essential for breaking through defensive lines.
  • It allows players to retain possession under pressure.
  • It creates space for passing or shooting opportunities.

Common Drills:

  • Cone Dribbling: Set up cones in a line or zigzag pattern and dribble through them.
  • 1v1 Dribbling: Practice dribbling against a defender to improve evasion skills.
  • Speed Dribbling: Focus on maintaining control while dribbling at high speeds.

2. Passing


  • Inside Foot Pass: Use the inside of the foot for accurate, short passes.
  • Lofted Pass: Strike the ball with the laces for long-distance passes.
  • Through Pass: Pass the ball into space for a teammate to run onto.


  • Passing maintains team possession and builds play from the back.
  • It enables quick transitions and counter-attacks.
  • Good passing can break down defensive structures.

Common Drills:

  • Passing Circuits: Practice various passing techniques in a circuit format.
  • Two-Touch Passing: Limit touches to improve speed and accuracy.
  • Triangle Passing: Pass in a triangle formation to practice movement and receiving.

3. Shooting


  • Instep Drive: Use the laces for powerful shots.
  • Side-Foot Placement: Use the inside of the foot for accuracy.
  • Volley: Strike the ball in mid-air for quick finishes.


  • Shooting is the primary way to score goals.
  • Effective shooting techniques increase goal-scoring opportunities.
  • It adds a threat to a team’s attacking play.

Common Drills:

  • Shooting from Distance: Practice long-range shots to improve power and accuracy.
  • One-on-One Finishing: Simulate game situations with a goalkeeper.
  • Shooting on the Move: Practice shooting while dribbling to improve fluidity.

4. Tackling


  • Standing Tackle: Use the inside of the foot to dispossess an opponent.
  • Slide Tackle: Slide on the ground to intercept the ball.
  • Block Tackle: Use the body to block and win the ball.


  • Tackling is crucial for regaining possession.
  • It disrupts the opponent’s attacking play.
  • Good tackling prevents scoring opportunities.

Common Drills:

  • 1v1 Tackling: Practice tackling against an opponent.
  • Controlled Tackling: Focus on timing and technique to avoid fouls.
  • Tackling in Small-Sided Games: Apply tackling skills in game-like scenarios.

5. Heading


  • Attacking Header: Head the ball with power towards the goal.
  • Defensive Header: Clear the ball away from danger.
  • Glancing Header: Use subtle touches to direct the ball.


  • Heading is important for scoring from crosses and set-pieces.
  • It is crucial for defensive clearances.
  • Good heading contributes to overall aerial dominance.

Common Drills:

  • Heading Drills with Partners: Practice heading back and forth with a partner.
  • Crossing and Finishing: Head crosses towards the goal.
  • Defensive Heading: Clear balls under pressure to improve defensive skills.

6. Positioning


  • Defensive Positioning: Maintain shape and cover spaces.
  • Offensive Positioning: Find space to receive the ball.
  • Transitional Positioning: Adjust positions quickly during transitions.


  • Proper positioning ensures defensive solidity.
  • It creates attacking opportunities by finding space.
  • It helps maintain team structure and balance.

Common Drills:

  • Shadow Play: Practice positioning without opposition to improve spatial awareness.
  • Positional Games: Use small-sided games to practice positional play.
  • Tactical Drills: Simulate match scenarios to enhance positional understanding.

7. Goalkeeping


  • Shot Stopping: Use hands and body to make saves.
  • Diving: Dive to reach low and high shots.
  • Distribution: Effectively distribute the ball to start attacks.


  • Goalkeeping is critical for preventing goals.
  • Good goalkeepers organize the defense.
  • Effective distribution aids in building play from the back.

Common Drills:

  • Shot Stopping Drills: Practice making saves from various angles.
  • Distribution Drills: Work on throwing and kicking accuracy.
  • 1v1 Situations: Practice dealing with one-on-one scenarios.

Enhancing Basic Techniques

To excel in football, players must continually refine their basic techniques. This can be achieved through consistent practice, targeted drills, and game experience. Here are some strategies for enhancing fundamental skills:

1. Regular Practice

Consistency is key to mastering football techniques. Regular practice sessions focused on fundamental skills help players develop muscle memory and improve their overall proficiency.

2. Video Analysis

Analyzing game footage allows players to see their strengths and weaknesses. Coaches can use video analysis to provide constructive feedback and highlight areas for improvement.

3. Individual Training

Individual training sessions allow players to focus on specific skills that need improvement. Personalized drills and exercises can target areas where a player may be lacking.

4. Small-Sided Games

Small-sided games (e.g., 5v5 or 7v7) provide more touches on the ball and frequent involvement in play, which helps in honing basic techniques under game-like conditions.

5. Physical Conditioning

While not a technique, physical conditioning supports the execution of football skills. Improved fitness levels enhance a player’s ability to perform techniques effectively throughout the game.

6. Mental Training

Developing mental toughness, focus, and resilience is crucial for executing techniques under pressure. Visualization and mindfulness practices can help players stay composed and perform at their best.

7. Coaching and Mentorship

Working with experienced coaches and mentors provides players with guidance and expert advice. Coaches can offer insights into improving techniques and help players reach their full potential.

The Role of Non-Basic Techniques

While fundamental techniques form the core of football skills, advanced techniques and strategies also play a significant role in the game. These advanced skills build on the basics and add complexity to a player’s repertoire. Some of these include:

1. Advanced Dribbling Moves

Skills like the stepover, Cruyff turn, and elastico are advanced dribbling moves that can outwit defenders and create scoring opportunities.

2. Set-Piece Mastery

Mastering set-pieces, such as free-kicks, corners, and penalties, requires specialized techniques and strategies that can significantly impact the game.

3. Tactical Flexibility

Understanding and adapting to different tactical formations and strategies is crucial for high-level play. Players must be able to adjust their positioning and roles based on the team’s tactics.

4. Game Management

Game management skills, such as time-wasting, drawing fouls, and controlling the tempo, are important for maintaining an advantage and securing results in competitive matches.

5. Leadership and Communication

Effective communication and leadership on the field help organize the team, boost morale, and ensure cohesive play. Captains and experienced players often take on these roles.


Football is a dynamic and complex sport that requires a solid foundation of fundamental techniques. Dribbling, passing, shooting, tackling, heading, positioning, and goalkeeping are the core skills every player must master. While advanced techniques, tactical understanding, and physical conditioning enhance a player’s abilities, they build upon the basic skills that form the essence of the game. By understanding the importance of these fundamental techniques and consistently working to improve them, players can enhance their performance and contribute to their team’s success. Moreover, recognizing the distinction between basic and advanced techniques helps players focus their training efforts effectively and progress in their football journey.


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