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Basic Dribbling

Dribbling in this practice is best defined as "individual players being able to travel with the ball remaining in their possession."

Session Length: 1hr 15 mins
Teaching points:



These basic games can be used (note links for alternatives/variations/progressions for more advanced players) and repeated a number of times during season as warm ups. They usually require all players to have a ball and do not include active opposition. As your players become more advanced you can reduce space, include more turns, moves and fakes.

Set-up: Players inside square with a ball each. Dribble around and listen for various commands. Should maintain possession without bumping into others or going out of square. As they progress increase speed and randomness of commands.

Commands (stopping, turning, using various surfaces)
Stop, Go, Turn: perform movement;
Left foot, Right foot, Insides, Soles: use surface;
Tick-tock, Toe taps (passing ball from inside of left to right and repeating);
Hat Dance (foot on ball, remove,place other foot on, repeat)
Other Commands (body movement)
Knees: quick interchanging knee touches
Body parts (coach names body part): Player must touch ball with that BP.
Groups (organization): Call out a number and players must quickly group into that number;
Find spaces (vision): as kids move their ball inside square, they try to find as much space as possible. On coach's signal, players stop and the one in the most space is the winner. Variation. Pirates (awareness): as players dribble throw a cone in and first player able to touch it is winner ( can repeat cone placing v. quickly)
Fingers: walk around square and hold fingers in air, players must shout number of fingers you have up.

Variations on warmup

INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITIES: 10 MINS: 2 SQUARE GAMES: These simple progression quickly advance the players movements still with no active opposition (defenders) Also easy spatial organization and development of activity of drill for the coach. The final stage of this progression is introducing at first passive progressing to active opposition in a 1 vs 1 situation. SET-UP: Now you have 2 squares (Islands) bordering each other. All players in one square. New command, change.(turning and acceleration) All players move their ball to square 2 and continue to dribble. Repeat for square 1 and then quickly to develop turning ability. Split players half and half in the 2 squares. Repeat change. Demo. Show how to avoid collisions by dribbling to space, use vision and awareness to change direction. New Command Switch. (Teamwork) This time players have a twin in other square, on command must changes squares AND switch balls with their twin. Demo. How to switch balls without them colliding by placing ball to side of partner and taking ball from partner on opposite side. Progression. (Organization and communication) remove twin concept and all players must change balls at least once with any partner. Note some players will switch more than once. Demo: communicate with a changing player Follow the leader (change of direction and speed, body movements, awareness of opposition.) Using the 2 grids or making the area bigger put players back into pairs. 1. Without either player having a soccer ball, one is designated as the leader the other the shadow. On GO the leader must try to to get away from the shadow. On stop see how far away from shadow. Repeat with players in switched roles. Demo. Show players the benefits of chopping and changing direction, acceleration, using upper body to fake, and awareness of shadows position should dictate the movement or acceleration. 2. Both players have a ball now and the shadow should try to replicate the moves the leader makes in an attempt to stay close. 3. Now only leader has a ball and shadow should try to follow. 4. Now the shadow can play 100% defense to try and win the ball, when they do win ball they become the leader. INDIVIDUAL:10 MINS: GAMES WITH OPPOSITION These are a variety of game style activities which are both fun and useful to develop confidence at dribbling They introduce the concept of active opposition in a limited format, and progresses to more active opposition. 컴Restricting opposition this link gives simple solutions to restricting the effectiveness of opposition. Pac Dudes.(shielding, vision and turning) Kids inside 1 square dribble around, 1 player( GHOST )outside square. On command Pac Dudes the Ghost has to kick balls out of the square. Instead of playing where the Winner is last one in square 컴use an alternative where players kicked out dribble a ball to an extra cone 25 yds away and then can re-enter the square. Time ghost and see how many soccer balls can be removed in set time.. Demo. Proper technique for shielding, body turned sideways, farthest foot playing ball, shoulder leaning towards opposition, dragging or rolling ball the opposite way to defenders direction. LINK B: OTHER INDIVIDUAL GAMES WITH OPPOSITION SMALL GROUP: 10 MIN: ACTIVITIES WITH 100% OPPOSITION: 1 Vs 1 OPTIONS. Activities that work on 1 vs 1 skills. These are more useful for players who have mastering a variety of 컴MOVES.Also more advanced players or players who can progress successfully with 100% defense. Around the World. (Recognizing times to penetrate, 1 vs 1 skills) Set up circle of small gates (a gate is 2 cones approx 2-3 yds apart). With players in their pairs 컴challenging more advanced players 1 ball per pair, they start in the center of circle. 1 is designated attacker, one defender. On command go, attacker tries to dribble through as many gates as possible. Defender tries to steal ball. If they steal it, start from center again. Object is to try and get through as many cones in a set time. Then repeat in opposite roles. Repeat but playing in groups of 3 (2 v 1), 1 group at a time, progressing to groups of 4 (2 v 2) LINK C: OTHER 100% DEFENSE GAMES LARGE GROUP ACTIVITIES: 10 MINS: GAME 10 MIN 4 VS 4 (MICRO SOCCER) These group activities are game formats with certain conditions relating to dribbling. Play directly before a scrimmage with no conditions. They are based on 컴4 vs 4 or micro soccer training principle. Always keep your final scrimmage small sided ( 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 4) on a 40-45 by 20-30 field. 4 vs 4 with gates. In your 4 vs 4 scrimmage with goals and GK's add a couple of gates. Players score a 2 goals when dribble through a gate, and 1 goal for a regular goal. LINK D: OTHER LARGE GROUP OPTIONS AND 4 VS 4 CHOICES. USEFUL FOR OLDER AND MORE EXPERIENCED PLAYERS. FINAL SCRIMMAGE 15 MIN 3 Vs 3 or 4 Vs 4 컴If you have 3 teams or an odd number of players play non stop soccer or one ofthese variations. ===================================================================== LINK A: VARIATIONS Phelius Fogg.(Acceleration, Speed dribbling, turning) Place 4 additional cones outside of the square. Give them exotic Island names. Shout "Explore" and players must round an Island with their ball and enter square under control. Same but Call an Island and players must dribble ball around that particular cone. Countries far away might have cones farther away. Shout "around the world in 80 days" and players must circumnavigate the 4 islands by going around all 4. Demo. Speed and avoiding collisions with players going in the other directions. Musical soccer balls. (Speed and awareness) On shout "musical soccer balls" players must stop ball inside square and run around any of the 4 outside cones. Coach removes one ball as they run. When back in square they must put foot on any ball. Last one can now remove ball, then can re-enter game. Slalom Skiing. (speed dribbling) Outside of square set up several gates about 2 yds wide. On command, players dribble ball out of square and see how many gates players can dribble through in a set time period. LINK B: INDIVIDUAL GAMES Knockout. (Shielding, awareness and turning) Similar to Pac Dudes but all players have a ball and all players try to kick other balls out while protecting own ball. TeenageMutant Ninja Crabs: Players start at end of an Island with their Soccer balls(can be your 2 squares from before) Coach starts as crab sitting with legs forward, and can only move in this position. On Command TMNC, players have to dribble ball past Crab to the other end ( Beach. ) without their ball going into the ocean. They must stop the ball on the line. Crab moves to kick ball into ocean. If ball goes into ocean, then that player becomes crab. When everyone has reached the beach, and crabs are ready, then repeat in opposite direction. Last one still on Island is winner. LINK C: OTHER 100% DEFENSE GAMES Beat the defender. (Penetrating at speed) In grids of about 20 yds by 10 yds you can use groups of 2,3 or 4. Start a defender with ball on 1 end line and an attacker on the other. The defender passes ball to attacker and can defend when the attacker touches the ball. Attacker has to dribble past defender and get it to the end line. In pairs the players swap roles with no rest, in groups of 4 the other pair plays and the 1st pair rests. In 3's have the defender rest (IE. start with 2 at the attacking end 1 at the defending end) Demo. Positive 1st touch that advances the ball, playing at speed, taking the ball to one side to drag defender and create "attacking space", simple body fake and explosion to the "attacking space" King crabs (beating the defender) set up 3 squares in a line. Place 1 defender on the back of each square. Attackers take turns trying to dribble through 3 squares to stop ball on the end line. Defenders can only try to win ball when attacker has entered their square. If attacker passes into 2nd square only 2nd defender can play now. 컴To increase success rate use defenders as crabs. Score 1 point for each square passed through. Rotate defenders with attackers after a each attacker has been. Hit the cone. (Faking to penetrate) In pairs, 1 ball and one player each as defender and attacker. Players start about 10-15 yds apart. Each player has 2 cones placed on their starting line about 8 yds apart. The attacker tries to dribble ball past defender and hit either of the defenders cones. Score 1 point if they succeed. After point or if defender wins ball, then roles are reversed and they attack other 2 cones. Play for a short period of time then rest as 1 vs 1 should be exhausting. For more advanced players, have defenders only protecting 1 cone. LINK D: OTHER 4 V 4 DRIBBLING VARIATIONS AND LINK TO GENERAL 4 VS 4. LARGE GROUP:10 MINS: 4 Vs 2 GAME. Putting practice topic into more game realistic situation, now using active defense. Develops decision making process of when to use the 1 vs 1 skills worked on or when to use passing. SET-UP: This activity progresses on from your circle of gates or attacking the 2 cones in the 1 vs 1 activities with active defenders. 4 vs 2. (Decision making, penetration) Make 3 teams of 2. Set up 2 gates about 25 yds apart. I team Defends and other 2 teams combine to attack (ie 4 vs 2) to 2 gates. Score points when attacking team dribbles through a gate (not passes). Rotate each team to play as defenders. More advanced players can play 2 vs 2 and have a team rest. Demo. passing to create space and then penetrate with a dribble to score, also change the point of attack by dribble or pass. 4 V 4 VARIATION: 4 vs 4 to end line. Rotate the dimensions of your field, ie 40 yds wide, 20 yds long. The object of the game is for players to dribble to the opponents end line and stop the ball on that line. Demo. Attack the open spaces on the end line. It is easier than areas covered by defenders. Recognition of being 10 yds from goal (The end line in this game) and penetrating. 4 Vs 4 with defined 1 vs 1's. This is for more advanced players. In regular 4 vs 4 with GK's assign players to be paired up. The players can only steal from their specific opposition. Can pass, dribble and shoot as normal but players should be looking to lose their marker and then penetrating to goal. Demo. Creating space off the ball, utilizing space by penetrating and creating space by moves.
Overview | Principles | Resources | Guidelines | Practices | Game Day | Very Young | More Reading