How to Do a Step Over in Soccer (6-Step Guide)
One of the finest sights in soccer is watching a player perform a perfectly executed step over that takes them past the defender and leaves them upended on their backside.
With their legs whirring around the ball, the forward can confuse the opposition player and deftly skip to either side of them, depending on what kind of tackle they try and make.
A great move to have in your repertoire of tricks, the step over is thankfully quite simple to master and can be used to deadly effect.
All you need is fantastic ball control, terrific technique, and impeccable timing to know when to engage and elude the defender before you.
If that sounds simple enough then let's take a look at how you can do a step over in soccer and dazzle and daze your opponents!
6 Steps to Mastering the Step Over in Soccer
While the step over is relatively simple to learn, at least in comparison with other tricks, it still takes a lot of hard work, patience, and perseverance to master the move.
When learning how to do the step over, it’s a good idea to start off slow or even stationary before slowly increasing your speed until your legs are a mesmerising blur around the ball!
Here are six simple steps which will get you step overing like a pro:
1. Place Your Dominant Foot Next to the Ball
With the ball lying stationary in front of you, place your stronger foot to the outside of the ball and slightly behind it.
This position should give you enough space to attempt the step over.
Place your foot too near to it and you'll accidentally kick it away, too far and the opponent is likely to steal it off of you.
With practice you'll soon see just how much space you need to leave to execute it perfectly.
2. Bring Your Weaker Foot Forward and Up + Over the Ball
In one swift move, bring your weaker foot forwards alongside your standing foot (so with the ball to the outside of it) and quickly do a sweeping movement up and over the ball.
This should be done with your foot passing just above the front of the top of the ball.
Doing this as quickly and as close as possible to the ball is the key to a successful step over.
It will take time to get right, so don't worry about taking it slow at the beginning and slowly increasing your speed once you feel comfortable in the movement.
By raising your foot up and over the ball as quickly as you can and as close to it as possible, you not only keep the defender guessing as to which way you'll go, but also shield the ball if they try and make a tackle.
3. Sell the Movement with Your Body and Drop Your Shoulder
The idea behind this sweeping move over the ball is that the opponent will think you want to push the ball in that direction with the outside of your weaker foot.
The reality is that you are only faking to take the ball in that direction.
To really sell the illusion you want to shift all of your body weight and drop your shoulder in that direction to make it look as if you are going to sprint off with the ball that way.
To help you balance, bend your knee a bit as this gives you a lower centre of gravity.
4. Bring Your Weaker Foot Down to the Other Side of the Ball
Once you have completed the sweeping semi-circular move over the top of the ball and shifted your body weight, bring your foot down and place it to the other side of the ball.
This will leave the ball lying between your feet.
5. Bring Your Stronger Foot Next to Your Weaker Foot
Now you want to do the opposite of what you did before and bring your dominant foot alongside your weaker foot.
This should leave the ball to the outside of your dominant foot.
Instead of putting your foot down, however, use the outside of your dominant foot to push the ball in the direction you have just come from.
If you have sold the dummy well enough, the defender will have committed and stepped in the opposite direction.
6. Keep Control of the Ball
When you kick the ball with the outside of your foot, don't kick it too far away from you as that could lead to another opponent winning it back.
Instead, gently push the ball beyond the defender's despairing lunge and dance past them with the ball at your feet.
Congratulations you've just completed your first step over!
Once you feel confident doing the step over with the ball in a stationary position, you must practice it when the ball is rolling before you.
With time and effort, you'll be able to execute the move perfectly on the run or while sprinting.
To make it an even more deadly and dangerous skill, work on taking the ball in either direction with the outside of your foot.
On top of that, you can also do numerous step overs in a row to leave your opponent second guessing your every move.
All you have to do is replicate step two and three in either direction over and over again until the defender commits and you can skip happily past them!
Now that you have learnt how to do a step over, I’ll share some tips and tricks that can help you take the move to the next level.
Tips to Take Your Step Over to the Next Level
An effective and perfectly executed step over relies heavily on close ball control and immaculate technique and timing.
To really take it to the next level, however, you not only want to increase the speed at which you can do it, but also vary up the direction in which you decide to take the ball.
In addition to this, there are a few other things that can help you make the most of this move.
Here are a couple of tips and tricks to keep in mind when working on your fancy footwork:
1. Body Movement
The key to selling your opponent on the idea that you’re going to go in one direction before actually sprinting off in the other is your body movement.
As such, you must work on throwing your whole body one way with a drop of the shoulder before taking the ball around the defender on the opposite side.
2. Look Up and Read Your Opponent's Movements
While the overwhelming temptation is to keep your eyes on the ball at all times, you should actually keep your eyes up most of the time.
This is so that you can read your opponent's movements and quickly react and take the ball around them once you see the tackle they intend to make.
With practice you will be able to see exactly which foot they are going to make the tackle with. And by keeping your head up, you can react to this and avoid it.
3. Work on Your Dribbling Skills
While the step over is one of the best soccer moves to have in your locker, it’s much more effective if you incorporate it alongside some other tricks and skills.
Because of this, working on your other dribbling skills will help to improve your step overs as well as your close ball control.
4. Increase Your Pace, Strength and Stamina
Although it is all well and good being able to execute a perfect step over, if you can't then outpace your opponent it may end up counting for little.
To make the most of the move, you must work on your pace, strength, and stamina.
Then you’ll be able to outpace or outmuscle your opponents and keep doing effective step overs right until the end of the game.
5. Improve Your Decision Making
As you can imagine, learning how to read the game and your opponents is obviously a very important skill to have in soccer.
Improving your decision making skills will also have a knock on effect on your step overs as you will know exactly when to do one and when to refrain and play a dangerous through ball instead.
6. Watch Videos of the Pros
To help you master the move it is well worth watching videos of your favourite pros in action.
For example, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo El Fenomeno are renowned for their dazzling step overs, so it’s a good idea checking out some of their videos on YouTube to see how they took the ball so confidently and consistently around their opponents.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
The secret to mastering any skill is practice, so you must work hard on perfecting your step overs.
Whether from a stationary position, on the run, or at a sprint...
After a while you will be able to take the ball to either side of your opponent at will.
A fantastic skill to be able to whip out at will to confuse your opponents, the step over move can be very effective when used at the right time.
When incorporated alongside other tricks and flicks, the step over can leave the opposition's players second guessing your every move and make you a nightmare to come up against.
With a little time and practice you'll soon be step overing like a pro and leaving a trail of defeated defenders in your wake!