Understanding stoppers for young footballers 

Corking is a common occurrence in football. It is when there are too many players in one area of the pitch, making it difficult to pass the ball or even make a successful run. Understanding how to play through stoppers is essential for young footballers to maximise their potential and get the most out of their skills on the pitch

Why corks happen

Corking happens when two or more teams try to play to their strengths, but instead end up clashing. This can be due to an over-reliance on certain tactics or simply an inability to recognise where space is opening up on the pitch. It is important for young footballers to understand why jams occur so that they do not contribute to them in future matches

How to play in traffic

When stuck in traffic, the best option is often to go backwards. This means passing the ball backwards and away from the traffic jam before deciding what to do next. This gives your team time and space to regroup and analyse their options. When this happens, it will be easier for your team to find open spaces, as well as to take advantage of any opportunities that may arise from playing through the stopper

Another option is to stay close together and move as one unit towards the open space, rather than running straight into a wall of defenders. This helps to maintain possession of the ball, while also giving players the opportunity to assess their surroundings and find weaknesses in the opposing defensive line. Finally, playing with quick passes can help keep things moving until everyone has found open space


Playing through corks is not easy – it requires skill, patience and tactical awareness – but it is something every young footballer should strive for if they want to reach their full potential on the pitch. By understanding why jams happen and how best to work through them, you’ll be able to set yourself apart from other players who lack these key skills. With a little practice and determination, navigating through tight situations will become second nature!

Leave a Reply