- Dribbling14:16 | 11/05/2013
Dribbling is one of the most important soccer skills you need to master. Simply, if you don’t know how to dribble your opponents you will not know how to play soccer.
How to move with the ball
Before you can take on defenders, you must learn the proper mechanics of dribbling. Dribbling can be done with the inside, outside, instep, and sole of the foot. You should be able to run with the ball or change direction, while keeping it under your control. When you want to pick up speed, do not kick the ball farther away. Instead, move your feet quicker thus pushing the ball more frequently. When dribbling into space, don’t just fix your eyes on the ball. Learn to simultaneously dribble and scan the field around you.
Taking on defenders
First of all, you should always be the person with most immediate access to the ball. If you don’t keep it close to your body, you will lose it. Be patient when confronted by a defender. If he is jockeying you, use feints and tricks to get him off balance. Never put your head down and pray that the move will work. Instead, react to the defender by looking at his stance and trying to find weaknesses in his footing.
The creative dribbler
The creative dribbler has flair and creativity which he learnt unconsciously by going past opponent and leaving them “wrong-footed”.
The creative dribbler often dribbles wherever he goes: walking on his way to school, playing one-two’s off curbs, tree trunks, buildings… and when he gets home he can’t wait to play in small-sided games where he gets lots of touches on the ball or tries a new move he saw on TV. He goes out and tries to learn the mechanics and the balance so he can then execute the move at game speed against opponents.
Whenever he doesn’t have anyone around, he usually challenges trees to 1v1 battles or dribbles around them one by one, in a slalom. This way, he can practice the fundamentals of beating opponents in a game-like situation. The dribbler does a move on one tree and explodes to the next.
The dribbler then develops perfect technique for beating opponents and leaves them wrong-footed whenever he is challenged to an 1v1 duel.
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