Dribbling

It is important that wide players have the ability and confidence to be able to attempt to dribble past fullbacks to create crossing and shooting opportunities. Before a wide player attempts to beat a defender, they need to be able to get their head up and recognise if there is actually a dribbling opportunity or if there is a team mate in a better position. If the decision is made to dribble, then the following sessions will help them develop the technique and skill of dribbling:

TECHNIQUE OF DRIBBLING

The following simple practice is designed to help players understand the technique and skill of dribbling. The area is 20 x 10 yards and the objective is for the attacker to dribble past the defender and get to one of the coloured posts. This exercise is all about developing the dribbling technique, so it is important that the defender defends in a passive fashion initially, so that the attacker can develop their dribbling techniques, without too much pressure at first.

SET UP

  • The defender starts with the ball, just in front of two coloured pones or cones, which are 5 yards or so apart.
  • The defender passes the ball to the attacker and the defender follows the ball to defend - passively at first, then with increased intensity.
  • The attacker moves down the line of the ball and meets the ball, looking to control out of the feet, so they can immediately get their head up and observe the defenders position.
  • The attacker must decide which coloured pole they want to take the ball to:
  • The attackers' initial movement must be to threaten the OPPOSITE side of the coloured pole they want to end up at. WHY? To make the defender think the attacker is going to attack them on one side and therefore shift their balance to the opposite direction the attacker actually wants to attack. HOW? By doing a dribbling trick, such as a step over or by moving the ball with the big or little toe.
  • Once the defender has moved to cover the initial dribbling skill, then the attacker must quickly move the ball in the OPPOSITE direction, before the defender has a chance to recover. It is important that the attacker also bursts quickly into the space after the ball



DEVELOP THE DRIBBLING SKILL

SET UP

  • Use half a pitch. Play 4 attackers V 4 defenders. Two servers. Start point is one server passes the ball across to the second server. This is the cue for the initial movement from the wide player on the side of the server. The wide player must create space for themselves to receive the ball. Key factors to consider:
  • Wide player to get as wide and as far forward as possible
  • Initial movement is to make a sharp run that threatens the back of the fullback - to throw them off balance
  • Second movement is to check back down the line and be in a position to receive the pass to feet.
  • If possible, the side player should receive the pass so that they are facing the defender, if not they must shield the ball and look to execute a turn, so that they can face the defender


Now the attacker is facing the defender, they must look to execute the dribbling technique

  • The attackers' initial movement must be to threaten the OPPOSITE side of the defender to the side the direction they want to attack. WHY? To make the defender think the attacker is going to attack them on one side and therefore shift their balance. HOW? By doing a dribbling trick, such as a step over or by moving the ball with the big or little toe.
  • Once the defender has moved to cover the initial dribbling skill, then the attacker must quickly move the ball in the OPPOSITE direction, before the defender has a chance to recover. It is important that the attacker also bursts quickly into the space after the ball
  • Now the wide player must have an end result, ideally a cross into space for the two central forwards to attack


In this example the ball is played from the server to one of the central forwards. The attacking wide player should look to create space to receive the ball from the forward and then attack the fullback, using a dribbling technique.


  • Encourage the wide player to attack both down the line and inside the fullback.
  • Work with wide players on both flanks
  • Ensure there is an end result - a cross or a shot

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