Player Reflection Tool

Reacting to losing the ball


Complete the form

First, complete the 55 questions below as accurately as you can

Choose a topic area

View your results and choose an area to study

Identify two aims

Use video tasks to identify two specific things to work on

Practice to improve

Let your coach know what you are working on

This webpage has been especially designed to help you improve the way you react when your team loses possession of the ball. It is essential that everyone in the team notices as soon as they lose the ball, and that they react quickly and work as a team to prevent the opposing team from attacking effectively. On this page, we will look at the inspirational work of Dani Alves and Steph Houghton.

Your mission is to complete all the homework tasks below and identify two key specific things that you want to work on and try to improve in your practice sessions, team training or on your own. 

Recognising when your team lose the ball

When you are attacking (or when your team have the ball), you are probably thinking about moving into space to receive the ball, dribbling, passing and trying to score etc. But as soon as your team lose the ball, your job changes. Suddenly, you need to think about getting back, putting pressure on the other team, marking, intercepting and tackling.

Here are two things that might happen which would mean that your team lose the ball:

  • One of your team-mates shoots at goal and their goalie saves it with a catch
  • You or one of your team-mates gets tackled by an opponent who wins the ball from them

Can you think of at least two more?

As soon as your team lose the ball, you need to react. Exactly how you react and what you do will depend on:

  • Where the ball has been lost
  • Where you are on the pitch
  • Where your team-mates are and how they react
  • Where your opponents are on the pitch, how they move and what they do with the bal

When your team loses the ball, we need to be able to respond quickly. We will look at Scanning as this will help us keep an eye on what is going on around us on the pitch, and then we will look at how to attack carefully without leaving anyone back to cover the defending role.


Studies have shown that possession of the ball changes from one team to another very regularly during a football match. In fact, research shows that a team will have the ball on average for just 9 seconds before they lose it. 

Watch any 5 minutes of the England v USA game below. Keep a tally of how many teams possession changes from one team to another.

  • What are the most common things that lead to a team losing the ball?

Whether you play futsal or football, at whatever level, every player on the team needs to react when the ball is lost. Below are some examples of players and teams responding quickly and successfully to their team losing the ball.


  • What skills do the players in these videos have?

Think about things they need to do well in order to react when their team loses the ball. Think about things you could try to copy and add to your own game.

Recovering "goal-side"

The picture below illustrates when we mean when we say "goal-side". It is important for some players to recover goal-side when your team lose the ball. They need to be goal-side so they can protect the goal, pressure the ball, and stop the other team scoring.


Watch some of the video below which shows great goal-line clearances.

Can you spot at least three examples of defenders who react really quickly when their team lose the ball?


For the final task, watch England Captain, Steph Houghton play in this video. 

Of the skills we have explored so far, what skills does she need in order to react well to changes of possession?

Player Reflection Tool - Home

Dear Learner,

Welcome to your HOMEWORK page! Here you will learn about your chosen topic. It is a good idea to save the URL for this page to your favourites so you can easily return to it when you need to.

You need to work through the tasks on the page, one at a time. This might mean watching videos, it might mean doing other tasks and activities. It may be a good idea to take notes also. Remember that the more work and effort you put into the tasks, the more you will learn and the better you will become.

For most topics, there will be a PRINT OUT at the bottom of the page. You need to print this, complete the questions, and take to your coach. You need to do this so the coaches know what you are working on and are able to help you.

If any of the links on this page are broken, or you have other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at:


Mark Carter

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Once you have completed all the homework, click on the 'Print the form' link. This will open a form which you need to print out and complete. Take this completed form to your coach.

Then click here to move onto the last part of the Tool.

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Mark Carter

07772 716 876