Ball Hog In Soccer (Greedy Players Not Passing)

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Some of the best soccer players on the planet are considered ball hogs. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Ronaldinho are not known for their assist records but for their goal-scoring and insane dribbling skills.

So, how to deal with a ball hog in your soccer team?

  • Dealing with a ball hog in your soccer team
  • Dealing with a ball hog on the opponent’s team
  • Soccer players that only dribble/ball hogs need to learn how to link up with teammates
  • Hogging style of play: Is it considered good or bad?

As mentioned above, ball hogging is a trait of some of the best players in soccer leagues worldwide. The trick is that these superstars know when to be a hog and when not to be one.

So, in this article, we will look at ways to deal with a ball hog, either on your team or when playing against one.

Womens soccer game indoors Training session
Womens soccer game indoors Training session

How To Deal With A Ball Hog In Soccer

To get the ball from a ball hog, shout for the ball, wave your hands, or tell your coach if it continues.

Hogging the ball, a.k.a. dribbling, is something that the best players do very well. They love to have the ball and usually make things happen.

Either by scoring a couple of goals or winning the game for their team through a well-timed assist.

To become one of the greatest ball hogs, you will have to practice this skill fanatically, training yourself to be skilled enough to dribble past defenders, score goals, and move up the charts.

“Take or use most of all of something in an unfair/selfish way,” again, some of the best soccer players are often seen as super-selfish. When a player can back up the selfishness with skill, then no teammate or fan will mind.”


How do you deal with a dribbler that is not a Ronaldo or a Messi and negatively affects the team with his hogging of the ball?

Ball Hogs

So, you have a team member that loves to hog the ball without the required skillset to justify the hogging.

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The worst part is that he does not recognize the painful observation that he is more of a liability than an asset. How would you go about dealing with this type of player?

The Coach

A coach is a significant person when dealing with any player, ball hog or not

The coach needs to address with each player what their role is on the pitch, how he wants them to play, the game plan, and ensure that the players upskill themselves on the practice field.

If a player is showing ball-hogging tendencies that lead to the constant loss of possession, no real attacking threat, or goals for that matter, it may be time that the coach addresses the issue in private with the player.

The coach will have to sit the player down, discuss the effect that the hogging has on the team, highlight the areas of his game that the player will be required to work on, including dribbling and passing.

It’s vital to have more than one capable dribbler in your team, in other words, a player that can spark something out of nothing. Coaching all the required skills when soccer players are still young is very important.

All aspiring soccer players will have to learn how to dribble and hog.

Madrid Spain 23.02.2022 Uefa Champions League Round of 16 first leg between Atletico De Madrid and Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo shoots the free kick with a knuckleball. ○ Soccer Blade

What can the coach do with a ball hog?

The coach will also have the option of moving the ball hog to another position, like a deeper defensive midfield position, or defense (should the player have the required skillset).

As these are positions where dribbling is not as important as in the midfield.

Should none of the remedies work, and the ball hog does not adapt to the coaches’ instructions, the coach can substitute the player during the game.

Benching him for the next one or demoting him to the second team until the required skill levels are achieved.

Training to Play Fairly

Training is essential because it preps players for situations that will arise in a soccer match. Players need to train in how to defend, attack, pass, cross, take free-kicks, take penalties, and so much more.

Discouraging a player that likes to dribble is the wrong approach. A better approach would be to constantly practice dribbling techniques with the whole team, not only the ball hog.

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Tactical nous needs to be drilled into players and practiced so that it becomes second nature.

When identifying a ball hog in your team, you should not revert to instructing them to pass; this is not coaching. Instead, work on his speed, ball control, and dribbling abilities, positively enhancing the player’s performance.

Teach them about space awareness, keeping the head up, and looking for teammates to link up with when in trouble, as improving this skill set will result in a more rounded ballplayer.

Through proper training methods, the attacking dribbler (ball hog) can only get better.

The difference between the best-attacking players, and the average ones, is hard work.

If there is no improvement from the player through constant training, you will have to look at a positional switch, where his particular skill set will be better utilized.

Players with a socks and a ball

How To Deal With A Ball Hog On The Opposing Team

Every team has its talisman, typically a ball hog who is very good at dribbling, either with enough skill to cause you problems or not good at all.

An average dribbler will ensure regular ball possession due to his selfish inability to pass at appropriate times and lack of technique.

Suppose the opposing team’s ball hog is a selfish player with enough skills to get regular shots off on target.

In that case, the good idea is to get an extra defensive player (usually a defensive midfielder) to man-mark the ball hog.

When the opposing team’s ball hog is just an average player, let him play his “normal” game.

If your team’s defense is up to scratch, they should be able to dispossess him frequently, seeing that he is not looking to score goals himself.

The turnaround in possession will allow your team to counterattack from the back and score goals.

Be aware that the ball hog can suddenly start passing to unmarked players to expose the unprotected space that the extra defender creates by zoning in on him the whole time.

Give and go soccer players passing

Is Hogging The Ball A Good Or Bad Habit?

Hogging the ball is also known as dribbling in soccer. One player is trying to beat another player by using the skill of their feet.

It is what makes the world of soccer exciting and why many of us are fans today. Dribbling is an art; no one does it better than Lionel Messi (The King of Dribbling).

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When a young player has the confidence to keep the ball at their feet in a game situation, the hogging of the ball should be encouraged, and most importantly, nurtured!

Never stifle a player’s willingness to keep possession; they could turn out to be game-changers in the future!

Dribbling is a part of the game that every player needs in their arsenal of weapons, from the goalie to the striker.

The trick is to coach the player to become very good at this art, know when to hogg the ball, and when to pass.

When playing in more structured or professional soccer leagues, you will face more structured defensive systems.

When defenses are tight, you will need a dribbler (hog) that can unlock these stingy defenses with a moment of brilliance.

Imagine coaches telling Messi and Co not to dribble but to pass, pass, pass!


Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Playing Soccer FAQ

Is soccer a contact sport?

While tackling with excessive force, charging, and striking opponents are illegal in soccer, players often overstep the boundaries. Although this generally results in appropriate sanctions being awarded, it doesn’t prevent significant contact from occurring.

What do soccer teams do at halftime?

At halftime, soccer teams exit the field. They return to their bench area. For youth teams, they may not have a locker room. However, many college and professional teams do head back to the locker room. 
The break is an opportunity for teams to collect themselves. They may talk about what is going well in the game, and what they need to resolve.

How do I join a soccer team?

Attend trials for schools, teams in your local area. If no trials are due, then contact the coach to see if you can join a practice. Search for local soccer teams and try a few to see if it suits your ability and it also needs to be a place that you would enjoy. Scholarships are also available depending on your age, ability, and location. 

Why does a soccer ball curve?

The angle and speed with which the soccer player’s boot strikes the ball determine how far the ball travels. The ball won’t curve or spin if the player hits it right in the middle with their foot following through in a completely straight line.

What are some injuries players get when playing soccer? 

The most common knee and ankle injuries are mild to severe sprains, strains, and tears. Other less common knee and ankle injuries include dislocations and fractures.

What are some ways to pass a soccer ball?

+ Inside foot: Using the area above and inside of the big toe.
+ Outside foot: This creates a spin on the ball to swerve the ball around players
+ The Laces: A powerful volley can be performed with a straight leg swing.
+ Spin: If the toes get underneath the ball with some force you create a backspin.
+ Back heel: Connect the heel with the ball to reverse play.
+ Header: Often used for clearing and shooting, but can be a creative passing move.
+ Body: Use any part of the body to deflect the ball into the path you desire.

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