My coach is always telling us to jockey and not stab at the ball. What does he mean?
Simply put, “jockeying” (also called “shepherding”) means forcing the ball carrier and the ball where you want them to go.
“Stabbing” at the ball is when you stick your leg or hip out to try to get the ball away from the ball carrier. This can have high reward because you might take the ball away from the ball carrier, but it is also a much higher risk, because if you “stab” at the ball and miss, you will likely be off-balance and out of position, allowing the ball carrier to get past you and creating problems defensively.
To “jockey”, you generally want to position yourself between the ball carrier and the goal – so you are forcing them toward the touchline (sideline). Maintain good balance and good focus on the ball. Your goal is to take away options for the person with the ball. The key to jockeying is keeping the dribbler where you want them and waiting for a mistake or forcing them to dribble themselves into a corner.