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Football Skills to Practice in the Playground

Every kid loves pulling off fancy tricks and skills and there’s no better place to try these out than on the playground with their friends. Whether your child is a beginner or a pro-in-the-making, there are skills for children of all abilities.

The following article will outline a variety of skills that your child can learn and practise on the playground!


There aren’t many skills as simple yet as effective as a well-timed backheel. In practice, there’s not much to a backheel. All it entails is lifting your foot above the ball and kicking the ball backwards using your heel.

This skill can be learned easily, but perfecting it can take time. Knowing when to pull out a backheel will come with practise, but it’s definitely a skill that can be practiced on the playground.

Skill Level: Beginner 

Kick Ups

Another relatively simple skill to practise on the playground is the kick up. Just like the backheel, there isn’t a lot to remember when performing a kick up. The objective is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible, primarily using your feet to kick it up.

This will take some getting used to, especially for younger children because it requires a fair amount of balance and precision. Kick ups can be incorporated into a match scenario when the ball is in the air, but they shouldn’t be overused!

Skill Level: Intermediate

Elastico/Flip Flap

Moving on to a more difficult skill, the elastico is far from easy, but pull it off, and you’re certain to raise a few eyebrows. There’s a lot to think about at first, but this can soon become second nature with a bit of practice

To perform the elastico, you’ll need to push the ball with the outside of your foot at a 45-degree angle. As you do this, move your body in the same direction before quickly snapping the ball in the opposite direction using your instep.

Skill Level: Expert


Back to something a little simpler, the stepover is a well-known yet impressive skill to pull out. Starting with just one or two stepovers keeps things relatively straightforward and is all you really need.

When running with the ball (or stationary) throw a foot over and around the ball. This will leave your opponents guessing and looks great at the same time.

Skill Level: Beginner


A skill synonymous with former Portugal international Quaresma, the trivella looks simple but does require a fair amount of technique.

The trivella is essentially a shot or pass with the outside of the boot. To perform it, you’ll need to point your foot away from the ball so that you make solid contact with the outside of your foot, generating spin on the ball. It will feel unnatural at first, but this is a top trick to surprise people with when mastered.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Rainbow Flick

We’ve saved possibly the trickiest and flashiest skill ‘til last. The rainbow flick takes some mastering but once you’ve nailed it, it’s a real show-stopper.

Step in front of the ball with your weakest foot then push the ball up against the heel of your as you slowly lift your stronger foot. Hop with your weak foot, using it to backheel the ball over your shoulder. Make sure to keep your eyes on the ball as it drops in front of you.

This skill requires a lot of practice to get right!

Skill Level: Expert 


Obviously, these skills require a lot of patience and practice to pull off successfully. They won’t always go to plan, but there’s no harm in giving them a go.

If your child loves skills, why not bring to a Samba Soccer Schools class where they can learn to play football in the Brazilian way?  For more information, click here.

Playground Skills FAQs:

How do you play football like a Brazilian?

Samba Soccer Schools coaches football the Brazilian way. For more information on this, read here.

What is the hardest football skill?

There are some very complex football skills out there, but the hardest to master in the above article is probably the rainbow flick.

Which footballer has the best skills?

There are lots of footballers with great skills including Neymar, Ronaldo, and Messi.

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