There are several ways to mark the ball:
Skill: Hand Marking
The most important way to mark the ball is in the hands where possible.
Marking the ball out in front of you allows you as an attacking player to be the first to the ball (thus giving you the chance to mark the football as no-one else has touched it) and increasing the distance from where you will mark the ball and where the defender is.
- Hands out in front of your face, spread the fingers
- Make a W with your Fingers (thumbs and index fingers)
- Look through camera (hands not behind head) – watch ball through hands
- Wrap hands around the football as you mark it (maintain the W)
Marking in pairs
- In pairs 5m apart with hands above heads
- Pass as hard as you can to partner who marks ball above their head.
- First to 5 drops does 5 push-ups.
Reading the flight of the ball – One partner facing away from person with ball
- Ball thrown/kicked high in the air
- Marker then turns and reads the flight of the ball and mark it at the highest point of their jump
- Add in player starts facing wrong way on the ground
Skill: Contested Marking
Contested marking occurs when you and an opposition player “contest” to take the mark.
- Read where the ball is going to drop
- Protect the drop zone by positioning yourself so you are on the side the ball will drop and hold off your opposition player
- You can push off your opponent in the chest/shoulder to shoulder
- Do not push in the back
- Learn to read your opponent and work out your best chance to beat them to win the football
Activity: Contested Marking
- In 4s
- Two pairs 20m away from each other
- One player kicks to the advantage of the nominated player in another pair 20m away,
- The other player in the pair is a defender and the two compete and contest to mark the football.
- Then the player who was nominated kicks to the other pair’s nominated player as above