Grassroots Coaching

A football coaching session to improve the Skill of Dribbling

A fun, progressive coaching session designed to improve the Skill of Dribbling



  • A fun dribbling drill designed to improve the skill of dribbling, including: ball manipulation, dribbling, head up, awareness, receiving the ball to dribble and beating an opponent by dribbling


  • The purpose of the drill is to encourage players to find space to receive the ball
  • To control the ball in the direction they want to dribble
  • To dribble and manipulate the ball using different surfaces of the foot
  • To dribble with their head up and under control
  • To dribble round the cones, using changes of pace and direction
  • To dribble round opponents.
  • At the end of the dribble to pass accurately to a free player in the middle zone.


  • The size of the area will depend on the age, ability and number of players
  • It is suggested that 12 players are used, with 4 balls: 3 of the players are passive defenders and 9 attackers
  • Plenty of soft, safe discs scattered randomly throughout the area
  • The overall area is 20 x 10 yards, split into 3 areas of 5 x 10, 10 x 10 and 5 x 10 yards:

Rules of the session:

  • The players can only receive the ball in the middle area and they should control the ball and dribble,  either round the cones or past one of the passive defenders in the middle area, until they reach the opposite end area
  • Once in the end area, the players should look to pass the ball to a free player.
  • Practice is repeated.
  • Defenders are initially passive and cannot tackle. One way to ensure this is to let the defenders have the ball and they have to dribble and try and stop the attackers
  • Their role is to confront a player with a ball and provide a human target for the players to dribble round.
  • As the session progresses, the defenders can become more active with their defending.

Key Coaching Points:

  • Encourage the player receiving the ball to be aware of space around them and receive the ball so that they are facing the way they want to dribble
  • Dribble with the head up and keep the ball in front and in playing distance
  • Encourage a trick, such as a step over, to unbalance a defender, then a controlled change of pace and direction to beat the defender and exploit the space created by the initial trick
  • Head up and execute a good decision such as an accurate pass at the end of the dribble


A coaching session to improve the Skill of Dribbling. Printable PDF

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