EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Speed dribble under pressure

Can your players run quickly and keep close control of the ball when being chased by a defender? If not, this activity will help them run that little bit faster while keeping the ball that little bit closer.

What this session is about

  1. Moving quickly when in possession of the ball.
  2. Dribbling.

What to think about

Players should:

  • Keep the ball within playing distance.
  • Use the inside and outside of both feet.
  • Keep the ball away from the defender, e.g. if the defender is on the right, keep the ball to the left.
  • Take quick, small steps.
  • As players improve, tell them to dribble with their head up.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up a series of 10-yard long areas and use two players and one ball. The first player kicks the ball in front and runs after it. His aim is to reach the other end (with the ball under control) before the second player passes him, as in the top picture.

The ball is live when player 1 touches the ball and this is the prompt for player 2 to start the chase.

Now extend the playing area to 20 yards. This time, player 1 passes to player 2 and makes an overlapping run around the back of him. Player 1 then tries to reach the other end before player 2 can dribble there.

One player has possession and sprints with the ball while pursued by his partner over 10 yards.

One player has possession and sprints with the ball while pursued by his partner over 10 yards.


Development

Mark out a 20-yard square with two gate goals at one end, as in the middle picture.

Split players into pairs. Pairs stand at each corner on one side of the area. You, or an assistant, stand between them with a supply of balls and pass the ball to the left and right, but rather than alternate, be unpredictable so both sides have to be ready at all times.

In each case, the receiver, the player nearest the coach, tries to dribble the ball through either of the target goals without being tackled by his partner.

You, or an assistant, serve passes to players who try to dribble through either gate goal while being chased by their partner.

You, or an assistant, serve passes to players who try to dribble through either gate goal while being chased by their partner.


Game situation

Set up a playing area 30 yards square with five gate goals placed randomly around the playing area. Play 4v4. Teams score a point when one of their players dribbles through any of the gate goals.

This game will encourage lots of quick sprints with the ball that use close control and the pressure of an opponent giving chase.

The team that scores most points wins.

Play 4v4 with players trying to run and dribble the ball through any of the random gate goals.

Play 4v4 with players trying to run and dribble the ball through any of the random gate goals.


What to call out

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