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
In control to the end
Help your players put together all the different elements required to complete a successful dribble with this Smart Session.
What this session is about
Improving dribbling skills and close control.
What to think about
When dribbling with the ball, players must:
- Slow down as they approach a defender.
- Keep the ball within playing distance.
- Use the inside and outside of either foot.
- Keep their heads up.
- Be “explosive” in 1v1 situations by committing the defender, completing a quick skill (e.g. stepover) and then accelerating away from the opponent.
|Warm up||Session||Developments||Game Situation||Warm Down|
|10 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||15 minutes||5 minutes|
What you get your players to do
Mark out a square and place some cones randomly within it, as shown in the top picture.
Use four players, each starts on either side of the playing area.
Two players, from adjacent sides, dribble across to the other side of the playing area simultaneously, using feints/tricks, sudden bursts of speed and different parts of both feet at any cones they choose.
Once across to the other side, the other two players take their turn.
Use the same size area but remove the cones, split the area into four 10-yard squares and increase the number of players to eight for a 4v4 game, as shown in the middle picture.
Put one player from the defending team in each square, which they must remain in. The attacking players all start at one end. Each attacking player has a ball and must try to dribble to the other side of the playing area, while the defenders aim to kick the balls out of play.
Once an attacker loses his ball, they then help their team mates – by playing one-twos, creating space, etc. – to reach the other end.
Attacking teams score a point for each successful dribble and if they still have balls remaining when they reach the other end, the attacking team turns around and dribbles back across the area.
The defending team takes their go when there are no more balls left to kick out.
Mark out an area for a 4v4 small-sided game and add end zones, as shown in the bottom picture.
Players score points when their team successfully dribbles the ball into the opposition’s end zone while retaining close control of the ball.
If a team is successful, it retains possession by turning around and attacking the other end.
If the ball goes out of play, restart with a pass-in. The team that scores the most points wins.