5 Basic Football Skills That Will Really Up Your Game.

Get ready to kick it up a notch! We’re here with the top five basic football skills that every player needs to know, whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro.

Don’t be fooled by fancy footwork on YouTube or social media, it’s all about nailing the fundamentals before you can start showing off on the field.

We’ve got you covered with these five essential skills to set your game on fire.

5 Basic Football Skills Every Player Needs To Master

Mastering a few basic football skills can make all the difference when it comes to competing at higher levels and improving your overall performance on the pitch. These five skills will provide you with a solid foundation to build on.

These moves are essential for any player looking to improve their dribbling, footwork, and overall agility. Let’s kick off!

Skill #1: The Step Over

basic football skills - the step over infographic diagram

The step over is arguably one of the most iconic football moves out there.

The step over is a great way to fake out your opponent and create space for yourself.

This move is not just about speed and agility, but it also involves mental cunning – you need to fool the defender into thinking you’re going one way before abruptly shifting.

How to do a step over:

To perform a step over, start by dribbling the ball with your dominant foot. Then, quickly step over the ball with your non-dominant foot.

As you do this, shift your weight to the non-dominant foot and push the ball away with your dominant foot. This will confuse your opponent and give you more space to move the ball.

Watch and learn: How to do a step over in 2 easy steps.

Skill #2: The Roll

basic football skills - the roll over infographic diagram

Another critical move for your football arsenal is the roll.

This move is all about body coordination and perfect for getting past defenders who are expecting you to keep moving in one direction.

With a little practice, you can use the roll to easily weave through your opponents and create scoring opportunities.

How to do the roll:

To do it, you’ll want to take your strong foot and roll the ball backward with the sole of your foot.

At the same time, pivot your body and quickly switch direction, using the inside of your other foot to bring the ball with you.

Watch and learn: 5 sole rolls that every player can use.

Skill #3: The Drag Back

basic football skills - the drag back infographic diagram

The drag back is a move that takes skill and precision.

The key to the drag back is to keep control of the ball and be completely unpredictable!

How to do a drag back:

For this move, use the sole of your foot to drag the ball back towards you, then quickly shift your weight to your non-dominant foot.

Use your dominant foot to push the ball away again and change direction.

Watch and learn: How to do a drag-back

Skill #4: Cruyff Turn

basic football skills - the cruyff turn infographic diagram

This is one of our absolute faves.

The Cruyff Turn, named after legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, is a move that requires super nimble footwork.

It’s a classic move used to get past defenders when you’re one-on-one with them.

How to do the Cruyff Turn:

To perform the Cruyff Turn, fake a kick with your dominant foot, then quickly perform a 180-degree turn with the ball using the inside of your foot.

Sounds hard but it’s easy when you get the hang of it!

Watch and learn: How to do the Cruyff Turn step-by-step.

Skill #5: Step Over Turn

basic football skills - the step over turn infographic diagram

The last move on our list is the step-over turn.

This is a combination of the step over and the drag back. So if you’ve got those down, you’ll find this easy.

How to do a step over turn:

To do it, use your strong foot to fake a step over, then, using the sole of your foot, perform the drag back.

Quickly switch direction and accelerate using the outside of your foot to bring the ball with you – and leave the opposition far behind!

Watch and learn: How to do a step over turn

What other skills are fundamental to football?

These 5 basic football skills are fun and simple to master. But don’t let that simplicity fool you!

Underneath it all, football is also an incredibly complex sport that demands a high level of skill, strategy, and teamwork. Here are the fundamental skills of football that every player and fan should know.

  • Ball Control – This the foundation upon which all other skills are built. The ability to effectively control the ball will enable players to pass, dribble, shoot, and defend accurately and with confidence.
  • Passing – Next to ball control, passing is perhaps the most important skill in football. Effective passing is all about accuracy, speed, and timing.
  • Shooting – Scoring goals is the name of the game in soccer, and that means having a solid shooting technique is essential. Shooting is all about power, accuracy, and placement.
  • Defending – Defenders need to be able to make accurate tackles, block shots, and intercept passes. This requires players to have good positioning, anticipation, and timing.
  • Dribbling – Dribbling the ball is all about creativity, agility, and deception. A good dribbler has the ability to weave in and out of opponents, change direction quickly, and create space for themselves or their teammates.
  • Stamina – Football is a game that requires a high level of physical fitness. A good player needs to be able to keep running for 90 minutes or more, and to do so with speed and agility.

The final score.

Football is a sport that demands a high level of skill, strategy, and teamwork.

And at the heart of it all are the basic skills that every player and fan should know and appreciate.

Whether it’s ball control, passing, shooting, defending, or dribbling, these skills are the foundation upon which everything else in football is built.

So, if you’re a player looking to take your game to the next level or a fan looking to deepen your appreciation of the sport, take some time to master these fundamentals, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a true football pro!

This article was written & reviewed by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's football. I've been crazy about football for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about football with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool football trivia, I'm all about making f...

  • Mia Johnson, Fitness Expert & Football Coach

    Hello! I'm Mia, a high school Physical Education teacher in Surrey, UK by day and a football blog contributor by night. My journey with football began just like any other enthusiastic player - on a local field, chasing after a ball and dreaming big. Football became my way to teach, inspire, and connect with others. In the classroom (and on the field), I'm all about promoting fitness, teamwork, and the pure joy of sports. Writing for the blog lets me extend this passion to a wider audienc...