Along with the Cruyff Turn, The Matthews is one of the most well known and widely used dribbling moves in soccer. It’s a great move that, with practice, young players can learn and execute when dribbling at speed and trying to beat an opponent. In this post, we will explain what The Matthews move is, why it’s called The Matthews, and how to do The Matthews soccer move. We will also recommend some fun and effective warm ups and drills that you can use when coaching someone how to do The Matthews.
What Is The Matthews?
The Matthews is a soccer dribbling move that players use to evade a tackle and go past an opponent at speed. Unlike the more basic inside and outside cut moves, the Matthews involves a feint as a player pretends to go one way before going another, thereby putting a defender off-balance and making them easier to beat. As with any move that involves a feint; successfully tricking your opponent and beating them can be a lot of fun when you pull it off!
Why Is It Called The Matthews?
The Matthews is named after the great English soccer player Sir Stanley Matthews who was the first player known to use the move in the professional game. Widely regarded as one of best ever British soccer players, Sir Stanley Matthews played professional soccer until he was 50 years old, was the only player to be knighted whilst still playing, and often went by the nicknames ‘The Magician’ and ‘The Wizard of the Dribble’
How To Do The Matthews
The Matthews is essentially a ‘two touch’ move that should be performed at speed. However, due to its complexity, it is best to learn the move at a slower pace before gradually trying to execute it quicker as you become more comfortable.
To do The Matthews move, start by dribbling the ball forward, keeping it close to your feet. As you approach the defender, you will pretend to do an inside cut, touching the ball only lightly. After the touch, in the same continuous movement, bring the same foot to the other side of the ball before taking a heavier touch with the outside of your little toe and accelerating off in the opposite direction.
When Coaching The Matthews
- After the second touch, the player should accelerate away in an explosive fashion, escaping the attention of the defender.
- Encourage players to push off from their standing leg and keep their knees nice and bent.
- As the player pretends to do the inside cut they should simultaneously drop their shoulder in the direction they are pretending to go to further trick the defender.
- A good way for younger players to remember the move is by saying ‘big toe little toe’ which refers to the two parts of the foot they use to manipulate the ball with.
Drills To Practice The Matthews
There are lot of fun warm-up and 1v1 dribbling drills that can be used to practice ‘The Matthews’. As with all complex moves that involve feints and multiple touches, it is best to practice the move unopposed before adding in defenders to see if they can do it under full game-like pressure! Here are some of our favorite drills and activities to practice the Matthews soccer move:
As mentioned above, ‘The Matthews’ is one of the most well known dribbling moves in soccer. When mastered, it’s also one of the most fun! If players are going to successfully use the Matthews in a game, it’s important that they are comfortable with the ball at their feet and therefore they need to spend a lot of time dribbling with the ball, in practice, in games ,and on their own. As a coach, it will be very difficult to teach a player The Matthews unless they first know (and are good at) the more basic inside and outside cut moves, so make sure you spend time helping your players master that before moving on any further!