The Drag Back Turn In Soccer

The Drag Back Turn

The Drag Back Turn (or pull back turn) is one of the most basic turns in soccer as well as being one of the most effective. Because of its simplicity the drag back turn can be taught at an extremely young age and is a fun dribbling move to teach to children who are brand new to the game. In this post, we will explain what a drag back turn is, how to execute it and coaching points to make when teaching children how to do a drag back turn.

What Is A Drag Back Turn?

A drag back turn is a ‘turn move’ in soccer that players use to change direction quickly or move away from someone who is trying to steal the ball from them. Players can use either foot to execute a drag back turn but it’s best to learn the trick first with your strong foot before trying to replicate it with your weaker foot.

How To Do A Drag Back Turn

To execute a drag back turn in soccer, follow these three simple steps:

  1. Place your standing foot next to the soccer ball.
  2. Place the bottom of your kicking foot directly on top of the soccer ball.
  3. Roll the ball back behind you whilst turning 180 degree to face the opposite direction.

Coaching Points When Teaching Drag Backs

Whilst the drag back turn is relatively easy to execute there are lots of helpful tips and coaching points to give a player so they can use it more effectively in a game situation. Let’s take a look at the three most important ones.

First and foremost, a player should remember to turn with the ball and not away from it. For example, if you are using your right foot to drag the ball back you should be turning to the right so the ball is always in playing distance and under your control.

Secondly, if you are trying to escape the attentions of an opposing defender you should roll the ball back slightly behind you so your next touch can help you accelerate away from the defender and take longer strides with the ball.

Finally, for younger players especially, it’s really important that they are aware of their surroundings so they are able to turn into space and not have additional pressure from another defender. Always play with your head up and try to look around before executing the drag back turn!

Drag Back Drills

There are lots of fun soccer drills to teach and practice drag back turns. Check out our King Of The Ring Drill and our Robin Hood Drill for some ideas on how to coach drag backs in your training sessions.

Other Turns In Soccer

As mentioned at the start of the post, the drag back turn is one of the most basic turns in soccer and can be taught to beginners and young children starting the game. Once mastered, players can move on to learn hook turns and even more complex turns like the step-over and the cruyff!