Trapping may be defined as the art of bringing the ball under control quickly and cleanly. I cannot stress enough the importance of mastering this skill. In soccer, time means space. Too much time spent bringing the ball under control will lose your space.

Nearly all types of traps must have a cushioning effect applied, to slow the ball.

Do not "lock" the ball in your feet but, instead, control it a little away from you so that your next move is easier to make. Remember to trap the ball away from your opponent and not into him. A good player always knows what he is going to do with the ball before he gets it.

Controlling the ball in your stride is often needed so this type of practice should be done.

Most parts of the body are used to control the ball. Three that involved the feet are: Diagram 1 -- Inside of the foot trap

Probably the one most commonly used.

With the body weight on the other foot, the heel of the trapping foot is approximately three inches from the ground with the foot in an upward direction. The foot should be brought into contact the instant the ball touches the ground, not forcefully but in a rather firm manner. With the head down and body partially over the ball, the wedge effect made between the foot and the grass will keep the ball down and moving in the same direction with the player. Diagram 2 -- Outside of the foot trap

Certainly a more difficult type of trap, but one, if executed correctly, that can help deceive an opponent. Imagine a forward being marked closely from behind by a defender. As the ball drops toward the forward, his body positioning can give the defender the impression that an inside of the foot trap is to be made. The defender may act accordingly. At the last second, the forward changes his body position and traps the ball with the outside of the foot and away from the defender. Balance and timing, along with the technique of forming the wedge between the outside of the foot and the grass, are keys to a successful move.The trapping foot is brought across the nontrapping foot.

Diagrams 1 and 2: The ball makes contact with the big area of the inside and outside of the foot. Diagram 3 -- Sole of the foot pass

This trap is generally made by placing the trapping foot in front of the body. The balancing foot obviously will be behind the ball. The wedge type effect is clearly shown in this trap. The heel is approximately six inches from the ground with the foot, once again, in an upward direction. Do not "jam" the ball onto the ground, but try to cushion it and roll it forward in the same movement. Constant practice will give you the feel for this.

Do not despair if success does not come quickly.

Keep practicing.