Dribbling is one of the key techniques that every soccer player should be proficient in. Unfortunately, a lot of players are not trained right and therefore dribble wrong which only serves to weaken their game. The perfect technique will be discussed in this guide as well as some tips and techniques that are important to you becoming the dribbling machine you know you can be.
However, if you are new to the sport and terminology you may be asking yourself what is dribbling? That’s a great question and a great place to start this guide out.
What is Dribbling?
Quite simply dribbling is the technique by which a player moves the soccer ball down the field with just their feet without passing. Now that we have defined the term, let’s talk about how you dribble that ball.
Learning Proper Dribble Posture
There are many factors to consider when learning to dribble, so below we will talk about them. These factors are key to dribbling with accuracy and efficiency.
Arms are just as important as the feet
When you are racing down the field dribbling that ball you need to make sure that your arms are moving like they would if you were just simply running down the field. This is great to make sure you keep your balance and can be very useful while in the game to work your way around the defenders.
Posture is important in the field
Your whole body plays the sport not just your feet and so making sure you stay in the most athletic stance possible will ensure that you maintain balance. So, make sure your center of gravity is centered ad that you keep your back straight with your knees slightly bent.
Land on the balls of your feet
This will keep your speed up.
Foot placement is paramount
Remember that the foot you are not dribbling with should be the one you are pushing off with. When cutting your non-dribbling foot should raise up off the ground, like a small hop so that you maintain your speed and balance.
This can help build momentum and optimize your dribbling speed.
So, with a few keys to the proper posture to maintain while dribbling all that’s left is to talk about some techniques and parts to the dribbling process.
Here is a video that might help you out by showing you how to dribble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb6jlHgj7tc
Key Techniques of Dribbling
By dissecting some of the parts of the dribbling process as well as some techniques you will be able to enhance your abilities and shine on the field.
Use all your foot
Each part of your foot (laces, outside, inside, and sole) is used for a different part of the dribbling process. For straight forward speed dribbling, you should use your laces instead of the inside like many people dribble. Keep the ball close and touch the ball with every step. This will make it harder for defenders to rob you of the ball. As for the other parts of your feet these are used to cut or turn.
As the players turn
Turning is the best way to keep the ball in your possession when on the field. When you are dribbling the side of the foot you use depends on where the ball is in relation to it. Once you have decided which way you want to turn, begin to reposition your body in that direction and bring the ball across your body.
Switch it up!
Once you are comfortable with the dribbling exercises above then it's time to work on being that explosive player on the field. This is accomplished by switching up your pace mid exercises. In other words, start out slow and then pick up the pace and then slow back down and so on and so forth.
Many players want to know how far away the ball can be from them while dribbling. This depends on what you are looking to accomplish. For the most part, it is better to keep the ball in tight as that lessens the chance of defenders stealing the ball.
But if you have a lot of areas open in front of you and you are looking to explore and need some speed, you are always quick with the ball further from your body. Just make sure you have a clear path otherwise there will be some unhappy people on your team.
Once you have the basic skills down you will want to enhance your ability even further so in the next section, we will breakdown a few tips that may just help you do that.
Tips to Enhance Your Dribbling
Here are a few tips that you can use to enhance your dribbling.
Dribble while blocking
When you are dribbling you want to keep your body in front of the ball. If you want to offer more protection from the defenders, then try using different parts of your feet while moving forward.
Don’t stare at the ball
You need to look at the field and ahead of you to watch for passing opportunities or situation where you need to turn or cut to make sure you keep in possession of the ball. It is best if you glimpse up and then return to the ball continually.
Watch other players
By watching other players you can learn how to defeat their moves or defense and practice to do just that. This will help you become a strategic dribbler.
The Boy Scout motto is good for a lot of things including making sure that you can work on your dribbling kill whenever and wherever you are. Always carry a ball with you or near you. This will mean that if you have downtime you can always whip that ball out and get to practicing.
Next to kicking, dribbling is the most important technique to learn, and learning to dribble properly is key to being a superstar on the field. Now that we have given you the steps on how to dribble a soccer ball, you have the foundation, some tips, and a general breakdown of how to build a pro-level dribbling talent that will allow you to stand out.