The football body swerve is a close control, dribbling skill used for running at and beating defenders, and creating space to shoot or pass the ball. The aim of the body swerve is to dummy the defender into moving the wrong way. In the game of soccer the body swerve is one of the most effective dribbling tricks.
The body swerve builds upon basic turning skills, and coaches should make sure that young players are able to turn with the ball under close contrl to the left and right. With the ball on your right foot, dip your left shoulder, and start to transfer your body weight as if you are going to the left. However, instead of turning to the left, quickly lean to the right transferring your weight to the right, and use your left foot as a springboard to accelerate away to the right. Acceleration is of great importance when dribbling, and trying to beat opponents. Speed is important, but it is often sudden changes in speed that beats the defender.
The movement is in reverse with your left foot. First dip your right shoulder, and transfer your weight to your right side. Then move your foot to the outside of the ball, transfer your weight to the left and accelerate away on your left.
Training drills for the body swerve include one-against-one exercises in front of goal. The object need not always be to go past the defender, but could be just to make space to shoot. The slallom is a good exercise for training when you are on your own, remembering to dip the shoulder. More drills, tips and a video demonstration of the body swerve are presented in Soccer Academy, our football coaching software.