Skip to content

Stop Start

Set Up

Set up for this activity is very simple just create a rectangle playing area and adjust the size based on the number of players you have. Do not make your playing gris too large as you want to create lots of practice of the change of direction and also some obstructions in the activity.


This activity is designed to help introduce and teach beginner players the Drag Back Turn used to change direction. There are several stages and progressions in this activity and you should follow them in order when introducing this to beginner players who are in the process of learning and acquiring this skill.

The most important rule to follow is that you should NOT move from the Blocked Practice stage until you start to see the player perform the skill with some degree of competence. It does not have to be prefect but if there are still major flaws in the technique you need to stick with it, if you move on before this the player will be learning and reinforcing the poor technique.


The first part of your activity will introduce the Drag Back Turn. Demonstrate the turn, have all the players try the turn. Have players dribble within the playing grid and execute the Drag Back Turn as often as they can. You can have them dribble to the edge of the grid and execute it or execute every two or three dribble touches. 


The next step is to incorporate the Stop Start with two other moves or actions in a series that remains the same. One that you can use is Dribble > Stop. Start > Drag Back Turn > Stop. Start > Toe Touches > Dribble. Have your players keep repeating this sequence this will add additional info and make them have to recall and focus more on how to execute the Drag Back Turn.


The next stage is to randomize the different elements you had in the previous series, this can be a challenging part of the process to design an activity that has a random order to it. In this activity you can let your players try to combine the elements into as many different series as they can or the coach can create the sequence of moves to keep it random.

Low Opposition

This next variation is the same as the first activity we started out with but we are going to add 1 or 2 defenders that will be trying to tag the other players. The defenders must also dribble a ball while they try to tag the other players. Encourage the other players to use the Stop Start move to get away from a defender. If you want to make this a little more challenging take the balls away from the defenders so they do not have to dribble they just try and steal any players ball.


Put your players into partners one will start with the ball inside of the grid the other will start on the outside. When you shout GO the player without the ball must try and steal the ball from their partner. If they steal the ball they must now keep the ball from their partner and so on. 

As the activity goes on the coach will start to add the STOP and START commands. When the coach shouts STOP the player with the ball must stop and get the ball under control, then when the coach shouts START they can resume dribbling.

This is a great opportunity to introduce a little bit of shielding and hiding the ball. Gradually increase the time between your STOP and START commands to make it more difficult for the attacker. The defender can still steal the ball when they STOP.

Coaching Points

Coaching Points

One thing you will have to do if your players are having trouble with the skill is to try and slow them down and break the skill into smaller movements or steps.
  • Players will not be able to stop the ball as they are pushing the ball too far ahead of them. Have them push the ball with the laces and make softer touches to keep the ball closer. 
  • Have the players slow down!

Coaching Points

  • Show players how to reach and stop the ball with the sole of the foot.  
  • Show players how to do this without jumping in the air
  • Have players try and stop the ball by hooking it with the inside of their foot