In soccer, dribbling is one of the most crucial aspects of the game. Simply put, to dribble means to use your feet to take the ball past the defenders, towards the goal. And to learn how to dribble like the best in the game, you might want to go through some of the following drills which will help you improve your skills.
The thing with soccer drills is that you have to make your own basic moves. You can practice with one defender, two defenders, or any number of defenders; the fact remains that you have to analyze your strengths, your weaknesses, and work on them. So while these drills will help you practice the dribble, the spark of getting through the defenders will have to come on your own. Still, here are a few things you can keep in mind.
- While dribbling, it is important that you keep the ball as close to your feet as you can. Kicking the ball too far away from your body gives the opportunity to the defender to take it away from you. Keep the ball hugged to your feet.
- You also need to know which one of your feet is the dominant one. Few players are so skilled to be able to dribble with both feet.
- Fleet-footed was one of the phrases I came across, and dribbling was the first thing that came into my mind. Your feet need to be nimble, and your mind alert. You need to be able to move in a quick sweeping motion, rather than in a heavy-footed lumbering one.
- And lastly, look up. If you keep your eye on the ball while dribbling, you won't know when an opposition player approaches you. The dribbling should happen on its own. Your eyes should be trained on the field rather than on the ball.
Around the Cones
Here, the player places 10 cones 1.5 to 2 feet apart. Then he runs around the cones, making figure-of-8s. It is a basic drill that focuses on ball control. Crank up the difficulty level by performing this drill faster, and by keeping the cones closer to each other.
Receive and Turn
This drill needs 4 players. Two neutrals stand on the two ends of a 20×10 yard area. Two players will be inside the box. The inactive neutral will kick the ball into the box to one of the two players inside. Now, the receiver has to receive the ball, turn, and then dribble the ball past the defender. The key skill here is to turn quickly with the defender behind you, and not lose possession. Repeat this drill by switching the roles of the attacker and the defender.
For this drill(,) you need two teams. The defending team must have 5 players, and the attacking team must have 3. The three attackers will try to dribble to get through to the goal. You can crank up the difficulty level by reducing the number of attackers or increasing the number of defenders. The important thing here is that the attackers have to dribble past at least one player, before passing the ball.
One-on-One Receive and Dribble
In this drill, two players stand touching two side-posts of the goal. The coach positions two cones on the edge of the penalty box, right in front of the players, with the goalkeeper guarding the goal. On the whistle, one neutral player passes the ball into the center of the penalty area. Both players run from their respective side posts, running around the cones. One of the player dribbles the ball, and tries to score, while the other tries to defend.
Remember that nothing beats regular practice. You have to train yourself with these moves everyday if you want to be fluent with them. Use these drills and the tips given above, and you'll become a champion dribbler!