For more drills like the ones below, check out Soccer Season Outsourced
Dribbling Drills Considering dribbling is the most fundamental aspects of ball movement, it is important to make sure your players understand how to do it correctly before you move onto other concepts. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to cover it in the early part of the season because it will give you a solid foundation from which to build upon.
While teaching dribbling, there are a few key points to square away with your players. While they are rather basic in nature and easy to understand, the players on your team will likely vary in their abilities and their understanding of the game. If you boil dribbling down to two larger points, you should see improvement in nearly all of your players regardless of where their skill level was prior to the current season.
The first point to make with your players is related to their eyes. Rather then watching the ball at their feet, your players head should be up with their eyes gazing the field for open teammates and incoming defenders. A good basic drill to really drive this point home with your players is by forcing them to dribble in close quarters.
Overview: These moves will add to your player’s arsenal of ways to escape pressure and beat defenders. I realize that some of these jukes may be a little difficult for some players to execute at this point in the season. Still these moves benefit their workout by emphasizing general body coordination and repetition of body movement.
Another reason I like this drill is because it gives your players lots of touches on the ball, which should hopefully make them more comfortable in game situations. Make sure player keep moving constantly and in a non-static direction.
Use the center circle for a play space, or create a confined are with cones that is near the same size. Each player should have a ball.
1. Players dribble using the space. Players must move in a non-static pattern, and change direction frequently.
*Note: Allow them to dribble for 1:00 to 1:30 minutes freely, then run through each of the variation listed below.
• All right foot: Players should use only their right foot.
• All left foot: Same, only left.
• 180: Foot on ball and change direction to go the opposite direction.
• Step Over: Player steps around the ball with one foot and uses the outside of the opposite foot to continue the dribble.
-Encourage your players to sell the moves, as if they were really trying to beat a defender. After a change of direction, players should explode into the open space.
-Dribbling in a small confined space with lots of traffic forces players to pay attention to where they are going. They should have their heads up and avoid running into other players and their balls.
-Make sure players continue moving the entire time, staying in the circle and changing direction constantly.
The other vital point to make regarding dribbling is in regards to controlling the ball. Proper dribbling involves keeping the ball close to your feet where it is hard for a defender to steal it. At most, players should try to keep the ball within a step or two when they are being threatened by a defender. Now add a defender into the previous drill and force your players to keep their head up and control the ball
Overview: Now it is time to add some pressure from a defender into this previously tranquil drill.
Stay in the Circle. Each player still should have a ball.
1. Players dribble around the circle, same as the previous drill with one exception: They now can kick other people’s balls out of the circle.
2. If a ball leaves the circle, that player is eliminated. They can juggle on the outside until the round is over.
Note: Play as many rounds as you can pack into 10 minutes.
-Dribbling correctly means keeping the ball close to your feet, and your head up to measure incoming threats from defenders.
-Protecting the ball: Keep the ball close to your body because it makes it harder to steal. Shielding the ball with your body is a good way to keep defenders away and force them to go after easier prey.
A great video with dribbling pointers from US Youth Soccer: Notice how he touches the ball every other step, and never lets it get too far away from his foot.