Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The youth coach should focus on player development which is greatly dependent upon the ability to dribble the ball. Of course, there is a place for 1-touch soccer; but there is a greater need for players developing confidence with the ball prior to 1-touch. In order not to kick the ball away mindlessly when there is no available pass, A1 must be must be able to dribble and shield. Every player become the A1 as soon as he/she receive the ball, very player, even the goalie, needs to develop dribbling skill. Exciting dribbling,such as a series of 1v1's, is a highlights of the game.

The way to develop good dribblers varies greatly from being 1 or 2 moves; teaching dribbling involves training players to perform many moves; then, and only then, can they choose the few that work best for them. 

Dribbling is the most individual, creative, and expressive skill in soccer. There may be no "wrong" way to dribble, but there are general characteristics of good dribbling. These include keeping the ball under close control, even to the point where the ball is sometimes under the player; touching the ball with almost step taken; using boot feet, and also various surfaces of each foot, including the inside, outside, sole, rear and instep; going either direction with particular move; keeping the head up enough to see both the ball and the field, changing direction sharply, quickly, and frequently, if necessary; changing speed, with stop, slow deliberate movements, rapid  acceleration from dribble to drive, and rapid deceleration from drive to dribble; and finally, using a variety of well-executed feints.

Dribbling development helps players build confidence and poise. The physical requirements are flexibility, fast footwork and thousands of touches on the ball in practice and game conditions. Flexibility from player-player, can maximized through proper stretching and practice with the ball. Flexibility allows players to get very low and explode away with speed using power move. The power moves begins with a low crouch over the ball, with the player gradually rising to an upright position as speed is attained.

Fast footwork is developed when good technique is combined with rapid and numerous repetition, which call for literally thousands of touches per practice session. This is not nearly as difficult as it may sound!

There are dozens of moves, which can be joined together in innumerable ways, thus creating dribbler's unique style. Many of this moves called (scissors, cap, pulling the V). Bear in mind that every player will not make use of every move; each player find two or three moves that work for him/her. As a coach, teach players to go both ways from given move, and to gain some "ambifootness" from exercises.

Dribbling can be integral part of warm-up. Players, juggling a soccer ball (especially the smaller size) develops touch and is a good warm-up. Allowing the ball to bounces between juggles is another helpful step before full-scale juggling., and is especially helpful in loosening hips. The inside and outside of the foot can be used more easily when a bounce is employed. Competent jugglers should work from left to right and right to left, high to low and low to high body parts, then add movement and change of direction. Instead of stopping whenever the ball hits the ground, players should explode away and change direction with the ball the instant it touches the ground.

The next activity is dribbling in a confined area, which forces them to look up in order to avoid collisions. The basic tactic evolved here is to slow down in traffic., and speed up in open space. The coach can add specific demands- left foot only, outside of foot, change direction or speed on whistle, shielding whenever close to another player. The coach can evaluate his players during this time, so he knows what to emphasize in the instruction.

Teach them few moves, one or two in given session. do four or five of the moves previously learned. As in all technical instruction at the fundamental stage, it is best to start with clear and brief demonstration. Every player should have a ball for these sessions. Next practice the move with very slow moving ball and no defender, 100 repetitions.

Progressed to the game-related stage by working with a slightly faster moving ball, token pressure, and shielding whenever close to another player. 

A highly successful method for combining many touches with developing specific moves is to dribble the ball back and forth between the insides of the feet three times (the ball goes back and forth, not forward) then immediately execute the move. Coaches should include at least ten minutes of dribbling practice per session.

Spend a few minutes at each of the following, and incorporate shielding wherever practical.
  • Each player with a ball, free arrangement in grid, center circle, or penalty box.
  • Each player with a ball, working around cones.
  • Each player with a ball, moving in circular fashion around the demonstrator.
  • Each player with a ball, in pairs facing each other, pretending to take each other on, but within 2 yards, using a move to dribble past each other.
  • Same format, but only 1 ball, each player taking a turn, and the other acting as semi-passive defender (in this activity go left or right). 
  • Two line (no more than three players per line) facing each other ten yards apart. players in front toward each other, making a move, passing to player in line facing them, then going to end of opposite line.
  • Cones in triangle, up to three players, each with ball, making a move at each cone.
  • Entire team making moves in a grid, slowing down in traffic, speeding up in open space.
  • 3 players in monkey-in-the-middle configuration, each outside player with a ball dribbling to either side of defender (players must have heads up to read move of other dribbler).