Dribbling skills soccer drill with defender element

Young players are always keen to get the ball and run with it. When players arrive at my soccer training sessions and they see an open field in front of them, full of balls, off they go running and dribbling. Use this soccer drill to harness that enthusiasm but add defenders to make the drill more of a challenge.

Your young players gain confidence from the knowledge that they can run with the ball without being tackled – so when you put a defender in their way some of that confidence goes. In this soccer drill the attacker has free reign to run and beat three defenders.

soccer drill using grids giving freedom to attackers to dribble past defenders

Set up the drill

  • In an area around 40 x 20 yards, mark out four grids.

  • Defenders must stay in their drill zones.

There are three ways of running this soccer drill

  1. You can tell all your defenders to try and win the ball.

  2. You can tell the first two they can only jockey the player and not win the ball, but the last defender can win the ball.
  3. You can tell the dribbler they have to use a trick to beat the passive first defender. They are then faced with the second defender who tries to win the ball but even if they win it they allow the attacker to continue the drill. The final defender can win the ball.
  • In each case the attacker replaces the final defender who moves forward.

  • The other defenders all move forward one zone so that the first one becomes the attacker.

Key soccer coaching tip

In this soccer drill, concentrate on your players' ability to dribble and beat defenders using sudden changes of speed and direction along with body feints – attack at speed with close ball-control skills.