Monday, November 14, 2011


Since dribbling is largely a question of personal style, the ball itself is the number one teacher of the player. You can accelerate learning by offering your player a great deal 1v1 activities. Here is a basic one which has proven successful for all levels, from beginner to highest levels.

Use grid about 10yards square, 3 balls, and 4 players(2 per team). 2 Players go 1v1 in the grid, trying to score by shooting between the feet of the player standing still in the middle of the opposite goal line with spread 1yard apart.

The goal-line players each keep a ball in their hands, so that when the field ball is played over the end line or scored, the goal-line player can immediately toss or roll the ball in to his teammate for a quick counter-attack. Goal-line player retrieve the out-of-bounds ball. If the goal-line player is retrieving the ball, his opponent in the grid cannot shoot, but must shield or dribble till the "Goal" returns.

The coach should allow them to play for a minute or two, then call for a quick switch; the "Goal" become the field players for the next minute or two. Demands immediate transitions; perhaps use extra players on the side lines to keep the ball in play; require specific moves.

Your players will get a great workout as they develop dribbling and shielding skills. Many coaches use some form of this game every practice, gradually adding players to develop a tactical progression from this 1v1 to 2v1, 3v1, 4v2, and 5v2.

The 1v1 exercise will reinforce the need for shielding. Players will find that when marked tightly and unable to go forward, they must place their bodies between the ball and the opponent, jockeying for position while maintaining possession and looking for an opening. (The concept can be demonstrated by a quick comparison: pick up the ball and dribble it like a basketball; as soon as a defender gets within range, notice how you keep your body between the ball and the opponent.) Coaching points to emphasize are that body intervenes from a side-on position (adding width to the shield) while balance and vision are maintained. The player must keep cool under pressure, and shielding is working under pressure!

Shielding requires constant movement as you adjust to the defender's position. Playing 1v1 against a superior defender will reinforce this skill, as will 1v1 in a very confined area. To make a game of it, score by counting the seconds of successful shielding. Or add the the option of dropping the ball back to your goal-line player after shielding for ten or more seconds.

As much as possible, these activities should involve finishing on goal, because scoring is a skill which requires continuous development and practice. You can progress from the human goal to the flat-faced goal () which are very well-suited to many repetitions in s short time. This greatly facilities economy of training (as well as space, since both sides of the goal can be used safely). Thus you can incorporate the 1v1 with shooting practice.


Gladys | said...

great tips!

tatess said...

good tips for all the foot ball players out there.

ChrisAir said...

looks a great tip to teach my boy how to play

Little miss said...

i'm not a football player nor a fan , but this really helps those who are . Great !

Ads said...

only thru practice does one master the skill and the perfect execution of his actions.

good practice routines should always be employed to target specific areas you want to improve.