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. MORE
Direction change on the dribble
The ability to change direction at speed is one of the key elements of successful dribbling. Coach your players to leave defenders dazzled with this session.
What this session is about
- Changing direction with the ball.
- Improving dribbling skills and close control.
What to think about
When dribbling the ball, players must:
- Keep the ball within playing distance.
- Use the inside and outside of either foot.
- Dribble with their heads up.
- Be “explosive” in 1v1 situations by completing a quick skill (e.g. step-over) and then accelerate away from their opponent.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||10 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a playing area and randomly place 12 cones within it, as shown in the top picture.
This exercise works best with eight players but if you have more, increase the number of cones and size of area.
Players dribble around the area practising changes of direction when they approach a cone – it can include a change of pace or different types of turn.
Add a halfway line to the same size area. Use four players per area. One player defends the halfway line.
The three attackers take it in turns to try and dribble the ball past the defender in a 1v1, as shown in the middle picture.
If an attacker manages to cross the line, he starts in the half he has entered when his turn comes again. If the defender wins the ball, he swaps roles with the attacker he tackled.
If a defender is beaten five times consecutively, he swaps roles with one of the attackers.
Mark out a five-yard zone at each end of the same size area and play 4v4. Players score points for their teams by successfully dribbling into the end zone while retaining close control of the ball.
One player on each team marks a player on the opponent’s team. Players can only tackle the player they are marking. The team that dribbles into the end zone most wins.
Encourage players to choose when to pass or dribble, and when dribbling 1v1 to change direction and speed to fool opponents.
To progress, remove the 1v1 restriction.