Dribbling is an art – it takes a lot of time for you to really get the hang of it, and it’s important for you to ensure that your team members are able to do so effectively.
Good dribbling is sometimes the difference between the teams that do “alright” and the teams that do well.
As a coach, you’ve likely thought a lot about how you can help your team learn how to dribble better. In this article, we’re going to look at a few dribbling drills that you can utilize with your team in order to help them get their feet in motion.
Now, dribbling is something that takes some time to get used to, so make sure that you’re including drills for dribbling alongside drills for other skills.
You want to ensure that your players aren’t getting frustrated, especially if they happen to be younger players who are just getting the feel of the game. Practice makes perfect, but too much practice may make some players resentful, so find a balance.
That being said, here are some of the drills that you can try out with your players!
One on One Plus Shot. With older players, you want to put them in a real scenario that will help them while they’re out on the soccer field. So, you want to be sure that you try and add this to the drills that you’re doing on a regular basis. It’s fairly simple; first, set up a 15×15 (yard) grid 15 to 20 feet away from the goal. Put the goalie in the goal box, and put a defender in the grid area.
Then, have your players run up to the defender, dribbling the ball for the 30 yards between them and the goal, going through the grid in between. If the attacker gets through the grid while dribbling, they get to make a shot. If the defender gets it, the attacker becomes defender.
Whichever of these happens, the next player gets to go and do the same thing. Every player (other than the goalie and the defender) should have a ball to make this go as quickly as possible. You can vary this as well, by changing the size of the grid or changing the angle that the attacker comes in from.
Defender Obstacle Course. Kids love to go and just run around with the ball and try dribbling it. But the issue is more about dribbling when other people are coming after you. So, a fun free for all drill starts with putting multiple balls over the field. Then, you take a group of kids and make them the attackers, and tell them to dribble the ball up and down the field.
Then, take the other group and tell them that they have to try and steal the ball from the attackers. When a defender steals a ball, they become an attacker and have to continue keeping the ball away from defenders. Let this go on for 10 or 15 minutes, until everyone has had a chance to be an attacker and a defender.
Clean the Basement. The last drill that we’re going to look at is a fun one that’s good for younger kids, but can also be fun for older players if you mix it up a bit. Make squares (start with a 15×15, adjust the size as you wish) and put your players in groups of no more than 5 or 6 (split them as evenly as possible).
Have all but one of the players run around and dribble the ball in that square. Then, let loose the other player, telling them that they have to “clean the basement” by running through and getting the balls away from the other players, kicking the balls out of the 15×15 grid. The other players then have to get back in as quickly as they can. The “basement is clean” and the cleaner has “won” when all of the balls are out of the grid at the same time.
When this happens, or after a predetermined time (2 minutes is usually pretty good), the cleaner gets a ball and another player becomes the cleaner, trying to get the ball away from everyone else who is dribbling. This helps kids learn how to defend against dribbling and it helps them to learn how to control their dribbling and keep a defender at bay.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of different things that you and your team can do in order to in improve your dribbling skills. What dribbling drills do you and your team use in order to improve your hand eye coordination? What else are you doing in order to make sure that your team is at the top? We can all learn from each other, so share your thoughts and discuss what you’ve been doing with your team.