Create better dribblers

Dribbling is the key to unlocking an opponents defence creating space to score goals either by crossing to a team mate or shooting themselves. Beating a man with a quick drop of the shoulder or with tight control is fantastic to watch not only with the top players but also with your own players – but the skill takes practice.

In the Premier League this season there have been many players who can beat a player with a quick dribble. And the stand out player at the moment is Riyad Mahrez for Manchester City. It left boss Pep Guardiola purring over his “gift” when he scored a goal and set up the other two in City’s win over Everton.

His dribbling skills are exceptional when he cuts inside and shoots with his left foot. City are blessed with fabulous dribblers like Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva but let’s not forget Mo Salah at Liverpool who dribbles at high speed into the final third causing chaos in defences and Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace.

You can turn your players into great dribblers using the sessions below:

To start with you need to focus on your players’ technique to get them comfortable with dribbling the ball. Try Dribble and shoot, which is a simple but excellent session that gives players an end product for their dribbling – a shot at goal. You can move the session on by playing Three ways to win – a fun game that has dribbling and shooting as its main themes.

Once players have got an idea of what dribbling is all about try the Dribbling game. Dribbling into the penalty area is a great way to open up a team and challenge the defenders to stop you getting past them.

There are dribbling skills activities and games at every youth age group in my Skills Curriculum. Check out the Dribbling activity for Under 7s and see if your young players can attempt the skills involved.Then play the Dribbling game for Under 7s to cement the technique in young brains.

Finally use the game Passion fruit for a competitive session that puts dribbling at the heart of winning the game – a great way to end any training night and one that gives the coach the chance to see if all the skills work.

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