3 Simple Steps to Flip-flapping A Defender

 By: Heikal Suhaili
Exactly 3 years ago, on a busy day at the college, friends of mine have been buzzing about this move. The noise generates curiosity that I've decided to pursue to the group of friends clustered around the computers. Indeed it turns out to be Ronaldinho doing his what-soon-to-be trademark flip-flap. Whatever people might call it, be it flip-flap or elastico or elastic bend.

The move is simply enjoyable to watch. A simple one-motion move. Dragging the ball to the side and immediately cut back that left the defender confused. Sounds pretty simple but it took me more than three weeks to really master this move. Or it could take months depending on how you can grasp that move.

You could watch all the videos in the world and still struggle to perform this move. In fact, most of the time I spent on this move is by trial and error. But I came up with a simple plan which hopefully would improve you mastering this technique.

The soccer trick requires three levels in order to master it:

Get the "feel" of the ball
Familiarize yourself with the ball by dragging it gently with your outstep and cut in with your instep. Start with a small drag and as you build rhythm, increase the length of the drag.

Learn the "flip-flap"
Start from stationary point. Similar to the previous level. Use the top of your outside foot and drag the ball sideways and cut it with your same instep foot. The point of this exercise is to make it look as one-motion as possible. The wider you drag the more effective it'll become. Don't worry about the speed yet. Try to stay calm and relax as if there was no pressure and build rhythm when executing the move. The speed will increase naturally.

Building rhythm
The toughest level that requires patience and dedication; doing it while moving with the ball. For a start, move the ball at walking pace, whenever you're comfortable, do the move. I'd recommend that you'd start on an empty surface where no people are around. As you build confidence, put a cone or any object in front of you and flip-flap it pass the object (cone). Once again, start at a walking pace, then as your confidence increases, do it at a faster pace.

Once you've done, where do we go from here? You could try during matches or kick-about. Be inventive and create something new from practice. Until now, I'm still practicing this move. I'd put a cone or a chair and flip-flap it towards the object which in this case the cone. I tend to vary the position of an object so that I can experiment different ways in different circumstances. One more thing, the trick requires fullest concentration and to achieve this is to practice. I couldn't emphasize any further. That's it for today; stay tuned for some new tricks. Watch this space.
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