Changing course – practice


This is a competitive way of building positive dribbling habits, and encourages defending fast after losing possession. The long and narrow pitch naturally encourages dribbling practice.


Use the same area and teams as the warm-up. Place the spare balls a safe distance from the edge of the pitch, dotted around the perimeter, to maintain intensity. A Nike Joga Bonito ball, heavier than a usual ball, can be useful to encourage dribbling and short passes rather than big touches and long passes.


The teams look to dribble through the gates for a point. They cannot score in the same gate twice in a row. If the ball goes out at the side of the pitch, play is restarted with a pass or dribble back onto the pitch – not a throw-in.


Add pressure to the dribble, then use skills, fakes and turns, and changes in direction and pace, to create and exploit space. Use varying parts of the foot and maintain a low centre of gravity to be close to the ball and to protect it from opponents. If a teammate changes the pace from fast to slow, they may need a passing option so adapt your movement accordingly. Defensively, react fast to losing the ball and make the pitch small quickly.

1. Teams compete and score points by passing through a gate

2. Teams cannot score twice in a row through the same gate

3. Encourage players to use skills, feints and turns to beat defenders and exploit space

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