Grassroots Coaching

“Beat the dribbler” coaching session design 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 is to improve a player’s ability to dribble past an opponent, under control.


There are a total of 14 players and eight footballs, although this can be adjusted with a change in the organisation. Organise the areas and players as shown in the graphics below. The sizes of the areas are shown in yards and can be adjusted to suit the age and ability of the players and to make the practice harder or easier.

Rules of the session:

The players, in yellow, are positioned in each of the boxes. They each have a ball each and can defend this area against the invading dribblers. But, to defend the area, they must maintain control of their own football and can only tackle or intercept the ball if they have control and are dribbling their own football.

The invading dribblers must receive a pass then attempt to beat the player in the box and dribble under control through the target gates. Once they have dribbled through all the boxes, they pass the ball to the next player and the practice is repeated.

Make the practice a competition, fastest player through all the boxes, wins. Rotate players, so all have a go at being invaders and defenders.

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


Beat the dribbler – A Fun Dribbling Game. Printable PDF

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Attacking Tips Become Better Players Coach Education FA Level 1 FA Level 2 Individual Skill Tips Player Development