An absolute staple of your skills collection has to be the dummy (also referred to as a ‘feint’ or a ‘fake’). By feinting to play a pass or shot you’ll throw your opponents the wrong way and give yourself time and space to work your magic.
It’s a particularly useful technique if you’re playing against players who are pressurizing you hard. Throwing in one of these could be the key to giving you some breathing space on the ball.
It’s fairly fairly easy to pick up, but needs practice to know when to use it and make it really convincing. Once you’ve got it nailed, however, it is likely to become a favourite and you should be able to do it at least once a game, making it a must-have-move.
There are a lot of different ways that you can do a dummy and we’ve suggested plenty below, so find one that works for you and make it yours.
There was a guy that I used to play with in a league a while ago who had an absolutely outrageous technique but used it superbly; sometimes several times each game. He’d get the ball in a defensive position, look up, lift his leg back in a slightly exaggerated style and shape to play a long ball down the line into the corner; but just as he made contact he’d instead bring it across his body and instead cut inside.
We always thought he was going to get caught out but he performed it so well and had supreme confidence in it, and that might just have been the secret to what made it so damn convincing, which brings us to the fundamentals of any good feinting technique:
- The fake has got to be so convincing that you almost believe it yourself – you’ve got to make sure that the pass or shot that you’re faking looks as good, preferably even better, than if you were doing it for real. So if you’re faking a pass or shot to the right before zipping off to the left, that means making sure that your body shape looks like you’re going to actually play a pass or shot to the right and that your head and eyes are looking that way too. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the fake move just a little to draw them in, but if you overdo it then it will lose its credibility.
- Perform it smoothly – if the fake looks convincing then you’re most of the way there, but you still need to take the ball off in the other direction so make sure you can make the switch flawlessly. There’s no time for hanging around getting the ball stuck under your feet.
- Accelerate away – no matter how convincing your feint is, you’re only going to fool them for a split second so when your opponent has bought it you’re going to need to accelerate away like you’ve just stolen something – make like a bandit!
As we’ve said, use the technique that works best for you, but below are some excellent examples and demonstrations to get you started:
The Hip Fake (Easy)
Brought to us by the soccerman, it really doesn’t get simpler or more beautiful than this. You get to view this from the angle of the defender which helps you see that something which is relatively simple can also be fairly convincing too. The way he shapes to go to his left could be dressed up as a pass or a shot.
The Zidane Fake (Medium)
From the excellent STR Skill School, this classy fake looks smooth and convincing and should be effective in a game. It can be used nicely to fake either a pass or a shot.
Fake Pass Take (Hard)
Brought to us courtesy of myfootballcareer, this is one for the showboaters. It’s got a fairly simple move at its heart and has some extra sizzle thrown in to give it a bit more of a flashy look. Not one for the purists and probably not the most effective, but hey, if you like your fake pass served with a little more razzmatazz then this may the one for you!
If you’ve seen another example that deserves recognition on this page then let us know in the comments below!
Other skills you might enjoy
The two touch dribble – it helped make Michael Laudrup an incredible player