Is there anything more thrilling than watch a player beat his opponent with a moment of divine skill, or to see a striker bearing down on goal, ball under perfect control? The soccer drills below are very simple to set up. They require just cones to dribble around; the wider they are spaced; the faster player can travel.
The key skill when dribbling is to move the ball with the laces, so that stride pattern is not interrupted. The closer an opponent, the tighter the ball must be to the boots.
It is handy to use lines, such as grid lines or touch lines, to help players run in a straight line.
Soccer Drill One – Simple close dribbling
- Set the cones an appropriate distance apart, perhaps 1-2 metres.
- Player dribbles through the cones.
- Either, pass on to a player to dribble back, or turn and pass back to another player.
- Work on both feet.
Soccer Drill Two – Stepover
This maneuver creates space for a pass or to trick a defender allowing the player to dribble past.
- Create a space in the cones to allow room for the step over
- Player drops shoulder on side (e.g., right) where stepover will occur.
- Player steps (e.g., with right leg) over ball from inside to out.
- With other foot (e.g. left), player shifts the ball to the left and accelerates away.
Soccer Drill Three – Cruyff Turn
The trick, made famous by the Dutch master of the 1970s, allows a complete change of direction in play.
- Dribble through cones.
- At line, step over ball, then drag it back through your legs with the toe of the foot that completed the step over.
- Dribble back.
Soccer Drill Four – Dribbling at the keeper
This drill give practice of 1-1 against the keeper. The drill can be developed by the introduction of a defender, who starts behind the striker. To make the drill appropriate for developing dribbling skills, the defender should start far enough behind the striker to ensure that he can only catch the striker if the striker miscontrols the ball.
- Dribble directly at the keeper, pushing the ball forwards with the laces to cover the ground quickly.
- As the keeper approaches either:
- Shoot low, close to the body OR
- Wait until the keeper dives at your feet and chip the ball over him.
- Dribble the ball past, using a skill such as a turn or stepover, and shoot into the empty net.
Soccer Drill Five – Running with the ball
For this drill, either space cones widely apart, at least 8-10m, or practice without cones.
Since in a match, players employ this skill only when there is a lot of space in front of them, for the drill to be realistic, it should be as simple as possible.
- Ensure that the players use their laces to propel the ball forward.
- They need to ensure that their stride pattern is not broken when propelling the ball.
- Work across a pitch, or from half way to the touchline. Dribble, then a partner dribbles back.
Once you get good, here’s a video of what the best dribbles can look like.
If you liked this post, you’ll like our post on soccer passing interception drills.
Your soccer coaching home – Books