Position your body between the defender and the soccer ball once you maintain possession. The stronger you are, the harder it can be for the opponent to steal the ball from you.
Remember to control the ball with the outside foot—the foot that is further away from the defender. Again, this can give you more distance between you and the defender.
Lean on your back foot, placing most of your weight on that foot. This can allow the foot with the ball to use smaller touches, keeping the defender at bay.
Also, bend your knees. This can help you maintain a better balance if the defender tries to nudge you out of the way and capture the soccer ball. Switch the ball to the opposite foot if the defender comes around from another angle. Remember to keep yourself between the opponent and the ball. Remember to keep your head up at all times. This can help you determine if you have a good angle to shoot, pass or dribble the soccer ball.
Learn how to shield a ball from a defender with this free beginner soccer lesson on video, with training in basic skills and moves.