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The Building Blocks of Dribbling

It is essential for every player to be confident with their dribbling ability, (maybe with the exception of keepers). Dribbling is definitely NOT just running with the ball - there are many different elements; confidence, pace, speed with the ball, explosion, change in direction, creativeness. A true dribbler has succeeded in all of those categories, and has also mastered how to read the situation and knows when and when not to dribble.

A dribbler is nothing without confidence. You have to believe in yourself one hundred percent. You have to be optimistic, and positive. Never think negatively about yourself, this is more damaging that you think - your most powerful tool is your brain - your body believes what it says. Because it is your most powerful tool, you need to utilize it. The more you practice, the higher level of confidence you have. If you practice a particular move every day until you get it perfect, then you should feel more confident about pulling it off during a game, shouldn't you? Pulling off moves is only part of the confidence a dribbler needs. They also need to believe that they won't lose the ball and will get by the defender. Give yourself a flow of positive comments - it will make dribbling so much easier. Even if you lose the ball, you can't let it get to you. Stay positive!

Don't believe confidence makes a difference? Try this: all you need is a ball and 20 yards of space. You are going to dribble the ball about 17 of those 20 yards and then perform a move at the end. You are going to repeat this twice. Before the first time say this six times: "I suck at dribbling, I can't ever pull off moves". The second time say: "I am a great dribbler, I always pull off moves." Notice a difference? Is your mind changed?

To have pace means that you aren't always going full speed, you need to know when to hold back. If you don't have pace you will ware yourself out. When you pace yourself it is means of resting, so that you can go at a higher speed when you encounter a defender. Pace should come naturally to a good dribbler. However, if it doesn't come naturally quite yet, have it in mind when you are dribbling. Pace is mostly essential to center midfielders and outside midfielders. These players run and dribble all game, and if they went full speed while dribbling every time they get the ball, then they would ware out very quickly. Instead, these players can create space for themselves with a run, then dribble with pace, allowing them ample time to find a good pass. You should never dribble with pace too much, you need to mix it up with short bursts of speed.

Having speed with the ball is also pertinent to dribbling success. Speed goes side by side with pace. You use your speed to get away from defenders, and when you are on a break away. Never confront defenders with full speed. If you do, you not only make it harder on yourself to do a move, you tire yourself more, and have to stay at one speed or get slower. (Getting slower is never the way to pass up a defender, in case you didn't know.) Another time you usually need to dribble with speed is if someone is running at you or beside you. This is because you not only have to match their speed, but be faster. If this is impossible, then use their speed against them by stopping the ball and going another direction. The hardest part of becoming fast with a ball at your feet is control. It is easy to lose the ball without control. Speed dribbling can use the inside of your foot if there is a lot of open space, but using the instep (or laces), is, by far, the most popular method or technique. And, if you practice it just a little, you can dribble faster with your instep as opposed to your inside of the foot.

When you link together speed and pace, it is best to change directions. You will become unpredictable, and hard to get the ball away from. When you are approached by a defender, remember to slow it down a bit (pace yourself). You can do a move/trick or nothing, but next you need to change your direction and explode away. If he is flat footed, there is no way he will get to you. If he is jockeying, try to explode to his backside, he will have to turn in a larger angle to run after you. If you are ever in the middle of the field whilst dribbling, you can keep slightly changing your course of direction to elude confrontation. If you pace yourself and lull the defender into a false sense of security then explode away from him, he will not only be intimidated, but he will be scared to face you again. If you are lucky, he doesn't know as much about confidence as you!

Dribbling revolves around control. At no point while dribbling should the ball ever be more than a yard away from you. Yet, at the same time, it should never be directly under you. If you control the ball well, when a defender dives in for it, you should be able to easily touch it around them. If the ball is too far away from you, the defender will easily take it. If it is directly under your body, you won't be able to go full speed, and your feet will get cauht up under you. You might fall or get knocked over, because you will be off balance.

First touch is also very important. If you have a defender on you and plan to dribble around them, when you recieve the ball, it must be cleanly or you will not be able to do much. If you are able to receive the ball cleanly then accelerate away in half a second, then you will have a good 1v1 success rate. Even if you aren't covered, starting off your dribble cleanly is imperative and equally important as a clean touch when covered. If you are able to start your dribble cleanly, you will be able to nto only accelerate quicker, but you will be able to start off with good control. With a bad first touch, you are a sitting duck in the middle of a battlefield.

You need to be unpredictable - never do the same trick more than a couple of times. If you are skillful enough to only do a trick once during a game, good job! If not, thats what you should be aiming for. There is a wide variety of tricks and moves that you can do ranging from easy tricks such as lunges to harder tricks such as hocus pocus. For a good skill foundation, you can master easier tricks then move on to harder ones. The key to being creative is to master a variety of tricks and be able to do them all equally well. The key to mastering tricks is repetition. However, not just any repetition; game like repetitions. Repeat skills over and over and do them at full speed and your pace speed. Pretend there is a defender on you, mimmick everything about a game that you can. Never give up on a trick. Lets refer to the importance of confidence like we talked about before. This applies to the mastering of tricks more than anything.

- stay unpredictable; don't use the same move over and over again
- only look up to read the field if you aren't covered or are shielding the ball
- when you dribble either watch the defender's feet or the ball
- don't perform tricks you haven't done before
- notice your defenders speed, don't try to run by him if he is faster than you
- see what side your defender favors, and try to go to the other side when you are accelerating by him
- keep a good posture while dribbling; stay balanced

- jdefoe's home dribbling program (creativeness, skill, & control)
- iwannagopro's tricktionary (creativeness)
- ageorge's dribbling and ball control drill (speed, control, & creativeness)
- matt's elastico guide (creativeness)
- iwannagopro's exercises for improving touch (first touch & control)
- real_zidane's recieving methods (first touch)
- jdefoe's cadillac program (first touch)
- jdefoe's agility drills (change in direction)
- jdefoe's cone cuts(acceleration)

Comments, questions, and opinions gladly accepted. You can also tell me if you think anything should be added.



OH MY GOD! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Ehat a Wondeful POST Soccer4Life!!!

"Game after game after game, I realize now what's most important im ,y life: FOOTBALL!"

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad that you like it :D
Yeah dope post
Remember... Never do a skill twice, always be creative, after that, you'll own.

ehh im too lazy to read all that but im sure its a good post :D

Excellent post soccer4life, same one u put on WCF hey?

This is an excellent post, I will practice everything on here.
Mattsta wrote:
Excellent post soccer4life, same one u put on WCF hey?

Yeah, its the same one. I usually put all my guides on both, because they take awhile to write.

Soccer4Life, are you really 12 years old? Because OMG for a 12 year old girl you write very intelligently and have a very good understanding of soccer. Well Done, Excellent post. I hate to ever face you in a soccer game :P But because your a girl I don't think that will ever happen as boys and girls will be in different leagues. And because u live in USA. lols
DarkDemon wrote:
ehh im too lazy to read all that but im sure its a good post :D

lol same here at the moment. I can tell it has some good tips in it though. nice work

Very helpful post Soccer4Life, great tips. :)
I can't believe that you are just 12 and a girl and know that much about dribbling in the game. Quality post :wink:
great post, i know alot of people have said this but im surprised your so young and a girl. i see a future moderator.
Say that great! Thanx a lot.It will help me a lot in improving my playmaking
Pls. if u know or get any other tip concerning dribbling,pls post it to me

By the way, if u don't mind, how, a :? girl, football? I hope u understand
A good footballer is always is a mystery,
better one can solve it,
but the best one is UNPREDICTABLE.

Another great post from Soccer4Life!
This topic is kind of going unnoticed... :cry: