There are several amazing things about the game of soccer, and several aspects of the game that makes every bit of it exciting from passing, to goal scoring and tackling. One aspect of the game that makes it so attractive even for people that are not soccer fans is dribbling.
Dribbling is an aspect of the game that separates a dominant player from the average player. The ability to carry the ball up the field past a defender is such a vital part of becoming a better soccer player. Speed, balance, endurance, agility, and body control are essential factors in making a soccer player successful in dribbling. The idea is for a soccer player’s dribbling skills to become second nature, so when the time arises they naturally perform the necessary move for that particular situation.
As a player who is willing to reach the very top and become a successful soccer player, you have to master every aspect of the game, most especially dribbling. The greatest players in the history of the game, players like Pelé, Messi, Maradona, Zidane, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, and many others are distinguished from the rest because they know how to leave other players behind in a scintillating way using a variety of creative dribbling moves. They are not just good at dribbling because they are talented alone, but because they put in 100% effort during every practice.
As a soccer coach, dribbling is one of the most important types of soccer drills that you have to incorporate in your soccer practices.
An essential definition of dribbling that a soccer player cannot forget is that dribbling is the art of keeping the ball away from the opposition at a close range as you go past them.
To become a dominant player on the pitch, you must have the ability to control the ball at your feet and move anywhere you want on the pitch. That’s what top players do, they can go wherever they want on the pitch, they create spaces where some can’t find them, and all these are possible because of their excellent dribbling skills.
It is vital that all soccer coaches provide practices that will help their players develop excellent ball control and get creative in the process.
10 DRIBBLING DRILLS THAT CAN TAKE YOU FROM A ROOKIE TO A PRO
1. STRAIGHT CONE DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help the players keep the ball at a short pace, an attribute that is expected of a good dribbler. This will help their touch and control of the ball.
10 cones on a straight line at an equidistance apart. Distance may be between 0.8m to 1.5m.
➢ The trainer stands at the sideline when he blows the whistle, and he kicks the ball at a very high velocity to the player standing by the first cone.
➢ The player must control the ball well and start dribbling through the cone.
➢ Players practice dribbling through the cones with the inside of both feet, outside of both feet; inside and outside of the right foot; inside and outside of the left foot.
➢ On getting to the last cone, the player must make quick touches with the ball and get back to the first cone at the fastest of their pace.
➢ Repeat as the coach instructs.
The drill must be performed with total concentration. This drill will help the players keep the ball better even when under pressure.
2. FORTH & BACK CONE DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help a player’s tenacity when dribbling. The drill also helps improve players physical fitness and turns during the game.
At least 5 cones on a straight line at an equidistance apart. Distance may be between 4-5M.
➢ This drill comes in two folds, one with the ball moving on a straight line and the second one with the ball dribbling through the cones.
➢ For the first one, starting at Cone 1, sprint with the ball to Cone 2. Turn and sprint back to Cone 1. Turn and sprint to Cone 3, back to Cone 1, and so on.
➢ For the second one, starting at Cone 1, sprint with the ball and dribble through to Cone 2. Turn and sprint back to Cone 1. Turn and sprint with the ball and dribble through to Cone 3, back to Cone 1, and so on
➢ Once you have reached all four cones and are back at Cone 1, take a 30-second rest before starting the next set.
The drill must be performed at a very high energy level. And it must be repeated before doing something else.
3. ONE ON ONE CONTROLLED DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help players harness ball control and handling.
Set up a 20m by 20m pitch using cones to mark the corners. Make two 4m goals at each end line.
➢ The game starts in the middle of the pitch, and anyone can start with the ball.
➢ For a player to score, he must dribble the other player before attempting to play the ball through the goal cones.
➢ After a player scores, the other player starts with the ball from their end line (where the other player scored).
➢ The quickest to scores 3-5 goals wins. Depending on the coach’s decision.
Maximum effort must be put into this drill, and the players must control the ball and make sure they dribble a lot.
4. CIRCULAR CONE DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help players make quick touches to cut the ball around the circle area.
Set up at least 10 cones in radius 5-10m. The distance of one cone to the other must be short.
➢ The players must move the ball round and round the circle.
➢ The players do this as many times as possible.
➢ The drill must be carried out at a top speed of each player.
The players must raise their head even as they dribble, not to concentrate on the ball at all time.
5. RANDOM DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help players make quick turns and excellent dribble speed to escape their markers.
Set up as many as possible cones not in a specific manner. All must be set irregularly at any chosen equidistance.
➢ The trainer must stand near, and the players begin when he blows the whistle.
➢ The drill must be carried out at a very fast pace.
➢ The trainer must be hard on the players and tell them to go faster during the drill.
➢ In no regular manner, the players should dribble through the cones, all of it.
The drill enhances concentration during the game, and it helps the players have a better understanding and connection with the ball and how to move it.
6. ONE AGAINST TWO DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help players develop the confidence to dribble in 1 on 1 or 1 on 2 situation. The drill will improve their vision, change of direction, speed, finishing technique, and confidence around the box.
One goalkeeper at the post, set up two different gates at a few meters distance in front of the goal. Two players should stand each gate and prevent the offensive players from passing. The offensive players must try to get past the two defenders and score.
➢ When the trainer blows the whistle, the first player in the offensive line must attempt to dribble past the defender in the first and second gate.
➢ The defenders should move to prevent their gates at all cost.
➢ If the offensive player succeeds in dribbling past the two gates, he should approach the goalkeeper and shoot at goal.
➢ If the defenders were able to win the ball from the attacker, the attacker must return to the offensive line.
➢ If the attacker scores or the goalkeeper prevents him from scoring, either way, the attacker should return to the offensive line to go again.
➢ The next offensive player in line can begin their turn after the player in front of them has scored, or lost the ball to the defenders or goalkeeper.
➢ The drill continues for as long as the trainer wants, and the tenacity varies according to the players’ category.
Encourage the players to be creative and to find out what moves work best for them. Also, remind the players to dribble at speed while also keeping close control of the ball and they should be decisive when they take on a defender.
7. ROUND THE CYCLIC CONE DRIBBLE DRILL
The objective of the drill is to help the consistency and focus of the players when they are dribbling.
A big cone in the center and at least 20 cones in a cyclic format around the big cone.
➢ When the trainer blows the whistle, the player starts moving inside the arranged cone with the ball.
➢ The player goes with full speed maintaining short touches on the ball.
➢ On getting to the big cone, the player must turn swiftly and start going out again with full speed.
➢ On getting to the starting point, another player should start the drill.
➢ The drill should be executed at an increasing speed as many times as possible.
To be a good dribbler, consistency must be maintained under a little or big pressure. When dribbling into the cone, encourage the players to try to keep their eyes up when dribbling to build good habits and vision.
8. ROUND THE SQUARE DRIBBLE DRILL
The drill ensures that players stay alert to their surroundings to avoid losing the ball to the opponent. Also helps improve player’s connection with the ball.
Four cones of different colors on each side of the pitch, the cones must be close, and each player must be standing by the cone.
➢ At the sound of the whistle, the player must start moving the ball with the inside of their foot within the cone.
➢ The drill must be executed at a fast pace.
➢ At the sound of the whistle, the players must switch to the other cone and start moving the ball with the outside of their foot.
➢ The coach must be there to give hasten up any player going slow with the ball.
➢ At every sound of the whistle, the players must switch intermittently.
➢ The drill stops when the trainer deems it fit; then other players can take turns.
The coach must encourage the players to master using the inside and outside of their foot through this drill. Good dribblers know how to use the inside and the outside of their foot.
9. MUSICAL DRIBBLE DRILL
The drill helps the players to develops their dribbling and ball control skills in a fun manner. The activity also encourages players to maintain awareness and find the nearest cone.
Set up a rectangular playing grid in no particular manner according to the number of participants you want. The cones should be lesser than the number of players; if there are 8 players, the tall cones should be 7. Each player with a soccer ball as the trainer prepares the music (whistle can be used as well).
➢ For this drill, the players should use their weaker foot to dribble.
➢ Every touch on the ball must be for one split second, not more.
➢ To start this drill, the trainer begins playing music or blows the whistle; then the players start dribbling inside the grid.
➢ Immediately the music stops or the whistle sounds, each player must dribble towards the nearest cone and knock it over with their soccer ball.
➢ Any player that couldn’t knock over a cone is out of the game; they can continue playing outside the playing area.
➢ Before starting the next round, players should reset the cones, and the trainer takes out one random cone so that there are more players than cones inside the grid.
➢ The ball must be dribbled everywhere inside the grid, and players must not stand still; otherwise, they are warned or disqualified from the game.
➢ The game continues in this manner until there is one player left inside the grid and is declared the winner.
➢ Repeat the game as many times as needed.
Encourage the players to move to every corner of the playing area, and no one must be seen trying to target the nearest cone before the music is stopped. The stop of the music is meant to help the players awareness.
10. BULLDOG ATTACK DRIBBLE DRILL
The drill is made to be fun and enjoyable for young players to develop their dribbling skills. It will help players improve their ball control as well as their awareness.
Set up a square or rectangular playing grid in no particular manner according to the number of participants you want. Each player inside the playing area is with a soccer ball. There is one player outside the playing area without a soccer ball; this player is the “Bulldog.”
➢ At the sound of the trainer’s whistle, the players begin dribbling inside the playing area. After 10-20 seconds, the 'bulldog' is released into the playing area. The bulldog will attempt to kick the soccer ball of the players out of bound.
➢ The players dribbling with the ball inside the playing area must protect the ball from the bulldog.
➢ Any player whose ball got knocked out by the bulldog goes out for few seconds and upon the sound of the whistle becomes a bulldog together with the other bulldogs and also attempts to knock out other players ball.
➢ The game continues in this manner until there is only one player left with a soccer ball.
➢ The last player that has their soccer ball is declared the winner, and the next round begins.
➢ Play as many rounds as needed.
The players must do well to protect their ball using dribbling skills and proper body positioning, they must also use speed and sudden change of direction to get away from the Bulldogs. They must also look around to be aware of where the Bulldogs are.