Dribbling Guide

Discuss your training routine and techniques you are practicing
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Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


Worship The Panna

The Art of Dribbling has been the most attractive part of football for most people, also one of the most difficult skills to master


Man Beating
Decision Making
Football Knowledge


You’re probably tempted to say that ball control is the only skill involved in dribbling, but in truth there are a lot more factors that need to be added up for a successful dribble:
Feinting Ability

The most basic way to beat a player is to use PAD (Pace And Direction) basically wait until approaching an opponent, then slow down start moving in one direction and then suddenly ‘explode’ the opposite direction, there are many styles of doing this and learning which way you do it most effective is the foundation to becoming a good dribbler, most tricks you will find work more effective if you learn how to do this first.

Using your whole body when dribbling is important
Your Feet: Control
Your Legs: Speed and Agility
Your Torso: Balance
Your Arms: Protecting the Ball and Balance
Your Head: Thinking

You can also use a lot of your body for feinting
Your Feet
Your Legs
Your Shoulders
Your Eyes

Indeed, ball control is a general principle that is required for all types of dribbles. Ball control is the ability to move with the ball, without losing possession, so it basically requires you to know how hard to hit the ball when moving forward with it, as well as organizing your body movement in such a way that allows you to follow up and get the ball to your feet again.
Ball control also refers to being able to trap or receive a ball without pushing it too further away from your body, which, in our case, is extremely useful in receiving dribbles. Ball control is important for all types of players when dribbling, regardless of their position on the pitch.

All dribblers should be comfortable with dribbling with all parts of your foot, the instep, inside, outside and the sole. You have to be able to move at speed while maintaining control and possession of the ball.
The most important part of dribbling is control, you need this to change direction, move the ball all over the pitch, speed up, slow down, you must learn the basic fundamental’s of guiding the ball and learn how to make your body keep up with it, the idea is to keep the ball closer to you more than anyone else
Not glued to your feet, just close enough that you can navigate around anyone who decides to lunge for the ball
Have it just close enough so you will ALWAYS be first to the ball
This is an essential skill

Control can be learned by just sprinting and taking the ball with you trying to keep it as close to your feet as possible, if you can get good enough control of the ball you won’t even need tricks to beat opponents, you just need control
Close control is your touches on the ball put it in a position where you will be, always first to it, moving at a fast pace and be able to set the ball up so you can do whatever you want with it (shoot, pass or a move) a good first touch is very helpful aswell… also being comfortable with both feet really helps
Learn to tempt players forward to tackle you, give them an illusion that they might win the ball, or attract pressure so you can pass to un-marked team mates
Also learn to turn in the direction that puts you in the best position to beat someone or where the ball is best protected, a general rule is if you get enough space always turn to face the goal, but get into the habit of turning away from defenders so the ball is protested or even dribble away from goal to invite defenders to come out and get you, just make sure you keep the ball in your complete control!
Ball control is the ability to keep the ball closest to you above all people on the pitch, without losing speed or balance
Keeping the ball closest to you means you can get to the ball first not having the ball glued to your foot
To control the ball like this you have to practice first touches with both feet and work on dribbling the ball close enough to your feet that you can burst with speed at any given time, but sufficiently far away that you won't trip over your own feet

Weak Foot Ability
Dribbles often involve using both feet and various parts of the foot (the sole, the instep, the backheel, the front, the outside or the inside) in order to work properly and your weaker foot can often cause you problems.

Being unsure of your weaker foot will leave you very vulnerable in front of an intelligent defender, since he’ll know there’s only one direction you can dribble towards using your strong foot.
Look at how untouchable Kaka is when he’s at full tilt, because no-one knows which way to turn cause he can go either way

Dodging Tackles
It is important that all dribblers are able to avoid rushing opponents, by using your control, where you leave the ball in a position that you will always get to it first, but gives the opponents an urge to lunge for it so you calm calmly cut around him
always moving the ball so you don’t get unexpectedly tackled is an important skill as well.
Control is also very much to do with your first touch and if you can keep the ball away from danger with one touch you should have no problem dominating the play.
Also when dodging tackles keep your head up and keep looking around for possible dangers or open teammates! This is important so you don’t get people sneaking up on you

This is probably more important then absolute speed as your first few steps usually dictate who will reach the ball first, work very hard on your acceleration as its very important, even after you push the ball past an opponent in a 1v1 unless you faked him until he fell over you will have to quickly accelerate to get to the ball first.
Learn to take lots over very short but powerful steps so you ‘explode’ off the mark, this can be as effective (if not more effective if your quick enough) as any dribbling move or cut, we all remember how the great theirry henry could beat any player at his best by simply running past them, and when he did try do fakes and moves, his acceleration left his marker eating dust.
Being faster than your opponent is one thing, but knowing how to get the ball past him AND gain back possession is the key to a successful speed dribble. If the speed difference is greatly in the favor of the attacker, he can simply push the ball forward along the pitch in an empty area and run for it.
If the space is limited, or if the speed difference is not so great between the ball carrier and the defender, the moment you start the dribble is extremely important.
You need to start upping the pace when the defender is off balance (possibly after you throw him off-balance with a movement from your body) and make sure you have enough space to maneuver around him.

Feinting is the most vital part of creative dribbling and by far the most entertaining part of dribbling on a whole, every move is based around confusing your opponent by tricking them into thinking they know what you will do next, feinting can be anything from an awesome hocus pocus, to a simple glance with your eyes in the direction you want your opponent to think you will go.
Try your best to resort to faking if your opponent has a good stance and is being patient with his tackling, there are countless ways to do this
the simplest way to beat him is expose his supporting foot, by simply tricking him into moving one foot, to say poke tackle you, then as quick as you can push the ball past him the side of the foot he was supporting himself with, leaving him dead and flat footed
faking a movement is another, like begin the kicking motion then as he lifts his leg in an attempt to block your ‘kick’ just cut the ball past him or fake by dropping your shoulder in one direction an if your marker ‘bites’ explode past him the other way.
All moves and tricks are based on the idea to set your opponent off balance such as the stepover follow’s the principle that you must get the defender to commit the way you stepover so when you burst the other way, he is off balance and left flailing after you
Just as important is your exit move from feinting, you must learn to exit the move just as good as you can execute them
the exit move is the way you ‘beat’ an opponent with the sudden explosion of pace, and the precise push of the ball to leave the opponent having to turn and chase you to catch you.
Be prepared when trying to fake someone out, they will usually only be off balance for a split second, so you have to be lighting quick to react
feinting and acceleration can be a lethal combonation.

Using your body when feinting is important and useful, decent defenders will know when your faking a shot if you don’t shape up properly, they won’t take any chances and will try get in your way just as a precaution, but if you learn to really lean back and stick your arms out like your about to unleash a rocket they will fall to the ground trying to stop you, only as you calmly cut past them
Even when dribbling and facing opponents a clever drop of the shoulder can send him running in circles, just as effective as any flip flap
When training with other people, test out feinting with your feet, legs, arms, eyes, shoulders everything at once if you can, and see in which ways are your feints most effective
feinting and acceleration can be a lethal combonation

Also when dribbling you should incorparate your body to really sell moves and cuts.

-Really lean away from the ball and lift your arm as if your really were taking a kick when preforming a fake kick
-Lunge with your leg as you cut with the outside of your foot when doing the flip flap
-Looking the other way as you pass is a pretty cool and effective way to confuse opponents

Try think of what you would normally do when faking, then try your best to emulate that and simply cut the other way, your body is a very useful tool for dribbling with, only the best use it

Balance & Strength
Strength is a major factor in receiving dribbles and positional ones, since it allows you to use your body as a wall between the ball and your opponent, repositioning him or her so you create an advantage towards the enemy goal.
If you look at some of the players that are considered the best dribbles out there nowadays, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, you’ll notice that they very often use their body in dribbles, in order to surpass an opponent or relieve themselves of pressure and find a pass or a shot.
In what regards soccer dribbling, strength is mostly important for central midfielders, who are under constant pressure from the opposing team and for attackers who will have to use their bodies to shield the ball before they can unleash a dribble in the box.
Balance is a key aspect of dribbling. Balance relies mainly on having a very good centre of gravity awareness. If you can learn to find where your centre of gravity is most effective and where your hardest to knock off the ball.
A simple way to understand centre of gravity is to stand with your feet wider than your hips and try get someone to push you on the arm to try knock you over, since the ‘centre’ of your weight (think around you core) is inside your extended legs
Now put your legs inside your hips, close together and when someone tries pushing you over its a lot easier because your centre of gravity is wider than your support (you legs)
Balance is very handy in keeping you upright and graceful when dribbling, this and agility will have you more coordinated when moving with the ball at speed and when someone is shouldering you off the ball if you can keep your balance to stay strong on the ball and keep your pace you will always win these aggressive battles.

Using Strenght when faced with challenging defenders is very important as you progress through the age groups
Upper body strength becomes just as important as lower body strength, you have to learn how to hold players off when dribbling and how to challenge for 50/50 balls.

Stronger opponents opponents are always a handful when playing, you must learn how to act more agilie than them, chances are if the are big and strong they will be in-flexible and clumsy
Learn to run early only to check back into space leaving the big clumsy centre back for dead
Also being smarter and postioning yourself better than him can make him look like a fool
Even if you are just as strong use your brain above your brawn, and you will have much more successful results
If the defender is big strong and agile and a great all round player you will have to resort to playing quick and clever one touch football, and ALWAYS challenge him when he gets the ball to put him under pressure, and force him into mistakes

Protect The Ball
Sheilding the ball is a vital aspect of dribbling that is hugely overlooked
Firstly you need to learn to hold off people with your arms while speading your legs so you have a solid stance and can’t be knocked off balance without getting fouled, then if your quick enough you could try turn the defender to leave him for dead
The timing of the turn must be precise and even try push them out of the way as you turn, so they don’t poke the ball away when your exploding past them, also when getting jockeyed make sure the ball is always the side of your body furthest away from the defender, unless you want to tempt him into lunging for the ball.
Also when turning with a defender close by try turn so your back faces the defender, and cause's him to either run into a brick wall, or commit a foul

possibly the most essential skill, first touch is no simply slowing the ball down , but when used as a weapon you can beat players with it, make space, avoid danger, it is a vitally important skill
The first touch should always put you in a position of advantage, say flicking it away from a defender or even over him, you should also never concede possession with a bad first touch
It is important to look up before you recive and after you recive
Always look to confuse defenders by watching there motions and cleverly put them off balance by cutting in the opposite way they are running
This is down to recognizing your surrounding’s and having awareness of dangers on the pitch, then using a good first touch to beat them
A first touch will develop with match practice and training, but you have to use your brain aswell as you feet to get that ‘lethal’ first touch.
The simplest and most effective of touch tricks is to fake like your going to play a first time long pass or shot
Just really animate yourself and the movement will leave a defender shielding himself form a shot that never came
Really put your shoulders into it by leaning back and opening up your body to sell them the dummy

Keep Thinking
Using your head is vital
You must know when to work your defender, test his reactions by using stop and go moves, tease him, trick him then suddenly blast off
Try cutting on the outside and crossing 3 times then faking than way and cutting inside the next time you get the ball
Deciding when to cut or try beat them is down to your reading of their distance and their reactions, this will come with experience
but without the technical abilities of knowing how to make these tactical decisions actually work creates many frustrating moments on the soccer field for the player. In general you need to think when dribbling
deciding which way to beat him or when to do so.
When you initially control the ball if you have no opponents nearby look up and asses the field of play, then start dribbling forward
from then on try make the best decision for the team
if I beat this man I can get a low cross in
if I pass now I can swing a cross to the back post.
Good awareness is the sign of a good player, not only do they have the skill to beat defenders, they also have the presence of mind to dribble with their head up and make passes through the holes in the defence that they open up with their feet. To become more aware learn to look up before and after you touch the ball, only keep your head down if your in a minefield of defender’s legs

This is so essential, yet you even see a lot of pro’s screaming up the wings with their eyes glued to the ball, then aiming and aimless ball nowhere


Move Basic's
-Simply when getting jockeyed you sucker them in (slowing down and not moving the ball as much)
-Then you feint, but with blistering pace this isn't nessacary (in saying feint, you can do anything from glance in one direction or 4 stepovers, as long as you seed doubt in the defenders mind)
-Finally you cut and explode (preferablly the second after you feint, and when i say explode I MEAN explode)

In general beating players is always done on this foundation
all tricks are based on suckering, faking and exploding
eg. the elastico
-You sucker leave the ball a tiny bit open
-You fake drag the ball with the outside of your foot, and the defender decides to lunge for the ball
-You explode as you cut back inside you have to move the ball forward so the defender wastes even more time by having to turn and catch up, this is why exploding is essential

You should also never try a trick that you can’t pull off 49/50
Because in a game it is a lot easier to make a mistake so you need to be able to look up when doing the move, and the ability to pull it off at any given moment
Fakes and cuts are simple tricks, most complicated moves are an exaggeration of simpler moves
Lunge = Stepover
Fake kick = Cruyff Turn
Cuttin out then in = Elastico

People say that simple moves are much more effective, this is not true
The complex moves are just as effective as normal, simple tricks
The only difference is that simple moves are easier to learn and more versatile.
The ability to do a really complex move perfect at any second in any position is nearly impossible because of how long it would take to get the move perfect.
If you feel you too often take too much out of the ball, or you take too long to make up your mind what to do
you should just come up with a simple feint or trick (drop shoulder, dummy step or stepovers) that you can preform perfect everytime as an instinctive move for beating someone or putting them off balance this will be your signature or trademark move... then come up with a double cut move to confuse the defender in 1v1 (double cut, elastico or V-Feint) that you can preform perfect everytime in any situation, as an instinctive move, this will be your signature or trademark 1v1 trick... then come up with a trick that you can use to turn (Cryuff Chop, Cryuff Turn or Stepover Turn)
Once you have mastered these 3 ''trademark moves'' you can practice a variety of cuts and tricks that you can use if you have used all your signature moves in a game already... if you can add unpredicability and variety to your game you will and only then be a good dribbler.

Another note is it doesn’t matter how good or how many tricks you have, it all depends on how you use them
If you have 3 tricks that you have perfected and can use at anytime to cut in any direction at any speed you will be untouchable
Exploding after moves is very important and using your strength to push past is very handy aswell.
Just practice your 3 moves of choice like crazy until you can do then with your eyes close with a pint of beer balanced on your head
If you have practiced loads but still think you moves are inadequet?
Try using your body to fake
Try look the opposite way your going
Try doing it without looking at the ball
Try doing the move as a first touch
Try get the ball airborne when your cutting

If you do all this you will take your moves to the next level
Eventually you will become more confident and your moves will become quicker, more exaggerated and sell better

I’d Advise you look at this
Credit to Soccer4Life
The Building Blocks of Dribbling


Man Beating

To beat a player you will need a selection of theses attributes:
Change of pace
This is essential for beating a player, especially handy if your quick
Change of direction
Turning of changing direction suddenly can leave your opponent for dead
Ball Feint’s
Moving the ball to beat a marker
Body Feint’s
Moving your body to beat a marker
Pure Speed and Acceleration
Explosive speed to leave your opponent eating dust

You should have these in combonations of 2
Change of Pace
Change of Direction

With your basic style down, you must focus on your opponent
There are lots of ways to beat an opponent
There are lots of styles and techniques you can copy

-Watching your opponent for mistakes or until he gets off-balance
-Using speed and sudden direction changes to fly past him when he is flat footed (bad footing, off balance, facing the wrong direction
-Using tricks to put him off balance
-Obviously the best will have a hybrid with all these mixed together

1v1 vs a Keeper
This is all about calmness and composure, keeping a cool head and using your knowledge to decide how to finish

-Look Up
If you have adequate time, look up, don’t shoot blind or hope the keeper is rushing toward you, always look up and register what can you do
-Early shot or chip
If the keeper is properly positioned this won’t be an option, but your movement will usually tempt him off his line or away from a corner of the goal, then its...
-Quick finish
Slotting the ball home when you notice the keeper has exposed an area of his goal
-Finally the man beater
If you run out of options, or if you feel confident enough take it to him and try beat him, in general a simple fake kick will do the job.
But to be honest it looks wicked to beat the keeper with a move


Fast Feet
Fast feet are very important as a dribblier because this is your ability to move your foot around or beside or to touch the ball, if your feet move quicker than everyone else’s you will obviously get to the ball first and (with quick thinking) you will be able to navigate the ball through a lot of legs, the trick to fast feet is foot-eye coordination and muscle reaction
Foot-Eye Co-ordination
This is a very handy motor skill to have as it basically means the speed and accuracy your muscles react to signals from your brain, so you will be able to tell your foot to move more precisely to where you want it to go. Your coordination in general is based on visual ability (you see something, you move your arm to touch it) so learning to mentally react to moving objects (the football) can train your brain to direct your limbs more efficently
Muscle Reaction
is how quickly a muscle contacts or relaxes in relation to its partner muscle (eg. Triceps and biceps) the better trained the quicker and more accurately your tendons and muscles will move when directed by the brain

I understand this sounds complex but if you train your brain by moving the ball quickly (like switching it to each foot while moving backwards) it will work your foot-eye coordination, as your brain has to respond to what you see thus send quick messages to your feet to move toward the ball, thus training your mind.

And if you train your feet by moving your legs quickly and have them changing direction quickly (say do stationary stopovers around a cone) which trains your muscles to respond to the rhythm of messages sent by your brain and perform the nerve orders quicker.
So if you do drills that work these two area’s of your anatomy you will notice vast improvement


Moving the Ball
Moving the Ball when not under pressure is a lot harder than you think, too many people push the ball 20 yards infront of them then race after it and get tackled, or dribble at walking pace and get creamed from behind.

This is down to your dribbling speed (how quick you are at moving the ball while keeping the closest control)
Learn to dribble in rhythm with the ball by sprinting in straight lines keeping the closest control possible
This is hard a first but will soon become second instinct
To increase your ability to quickly move the ball around the park learn to TURN fast

Firstly always look before turning
If you are being marked, try face him or beat him with your first touch
expert wrote:Turning, when there is no immediate pressure, demands good technique. The sharpest way of turning is by executing what I like to call the "Clock turn". As the ball rolls to you, trap it with the inside of your foot while simultaneously turning your upper body 90 degrees. At this point, plant firmly the same foot and use the other to advance with the ball thus completing a full 180-degree turn
Quick turns like the above are vital when reciving the ball un-pressured
The faster you turn with the ball the more time you will have to decide your next move.
Also when practicing remember to practice turning WHILE MOVING! You won’t always be standing still!

The principal of running with the ball is to be so natuarrly good at it that you don’t need to concentrate on moving quickly or risk losing possession
So you can run with your head up, which is SO IMPORTANT yet SO OVERLOOKED!
Really learning to keep that head up and scan the area is vital, preferably looking down only when touching the ball

Running With The Ball
Now when running with the ball into open space, you always want to be moving very fast
This is where all the close control drills and running speed comes from, you want to have great control, so you can move very quickly, without worrying about your touch and having the time to look up as you run

This puts the defence on the back foot, and can kill a team when your counter attacking


Predictability and Flair
''The amatur practices something until he gets it right, The proffesional practices something until he never gets it wrong''
The ability to do a move perfectly on request is VITAL for flair.
Flair is not having super ability, it is being spontanioues with your moves and cuts and passes, the secret of improvisation

A flair player would try to score from a corner when most people would expect a cross

But they need outstanding technical ability to do this, so you have to master nearly all of your abilities before you try take it to the next level.
when your dribbling, flair is essential, it is what beats a man and what makes dribbling beautiful.
You CAN! learn flair but it takes many many hours of practice, and there are no drills, you have to become experienced enough to predict what a defender will do if i drag the ball left, and since you know he will move left you have to try cut the ball back right.

It's not an overnight thing and it will take lots of mistakes before you begin to improve, just learning how to do the unexpected and think laterally you will become a king of trickery

Dummies While Running
When dribbling at a defender you must dribble at pace where it is comfortable to you to perform dummies but not to slow where it is not putting the defender back on his heels. Lastly it is important that you work hard in your soccer training to further enhance your skills.

Dummies while running should be simple and quick
As when your running elaborate tricks will knock you off balance or make you lose ball control or even speed
Also a single quick fake or dummy would be a lot quicker and effective, since your travelling at such a high pace the defender will have to be moving that quick to keep up with you
And with speed you lose coordination
So if you throw a clever dummy and they bite they will slow down for a split second
But a split second is all you need


Everyone should have a dribbling style, there favored way of dribbling.
Your style is determined as you learn how to dribble, it will change slightly as you mature as a player and learn certain new ways of beating men.
But your style will generally never change that much
And since your style is unique be glad, cause that is what makes a player stand out
He accepts his strengths and players to them
Instead of trying to be something he’s not.
If you think I’m wrong
Look at professional football nowadays
Name one team that contains 11 Maradonas
Name one team that contains even 1 Maradona
Even Messi isn’t exactly like maradona, he does a fair few things different.
But in saying that we do need to try copy what our hero’s do, merely not force anything that isn’t natural on ourselves

If we did not draw inspiration from our idol’s and try emulate them, what would we learn from
Let me take you through a few of the famous players ‘styles’

Messi (the rocket)
This man is small, fast and agile
He typically doesn’t fu** about with stepovers or flip-flaps
He gets straight at defenders with pace and perfect ball control
The argentinian Gambetta is one of the most creative dribbling styles
Messi uses his amazing ball control and clever body movements to make defenders doubt for a second and stall up, wondering which way he’ll go
Then the second he sense’s this he explodes in the opposite direction

All this is eveident in his play, just watch as he always looks, or points his feet in the direction he wants you to go.
Another thing he is excellent is changing direction at speed, and since defender have to be at full speed to catch him, he always cuts the way their running at him from
To force them to slow, stop and turn which leaves them for dead

Hleb (the Deceiver)
This dribbling style is all about timing and recognition of the defender's position. He always makes his cuts at the perfect moment, leaving the defender helpless to stop the ball with his weight shifted the wrong way. His control can be learned through endless amount of training but the timing aspect is not necessarily something that can be practiced since it is very instinctual. It comes from experience and natural ability to recognize openings and exploit them

Ronaldinho (the Genius)
Now Dinho’s secret is his control
To be anywhere near his level you will need complete control of the ball
Total Control
This takes years of training and experience
And it is very special to see a player with Total Control.
With total control, you will be able to make the ball move wherever, whenever, however you want it to.
After reaching that level you will need the awareness to exploit, defenders weakness’s
And you will need to learn how to master your body as much as you have mastered the ball

Ronaldinho’s greatest asset is his touch
With his touch the ball lands exactly where he wants it to
And this sets him up to do whatever he wants next.
You will need experience to then realize how defenders react to simple fakes and movements
And you will then need awareness to know whats going on around you

Only then can you have total control of the game:
-With your awareness you confirm where you want the ball
-With your experience you think how to get it there (what will work)
-With your control you execute the act of getting there

Its so simple, but the hardest things to master are the simple ones.
Ronaldinho’s method of dribbling is improvisation, that’s why almost no defender can stop him, cause he is so quick to react to their mistakes and exploit them.

Henry (the Electrician)
Titi use’s his greatest asset, his speed to leathal effect.
He is always waiting on the shoulder of the last defender for a through ball, so he can use his fantastic control and ability to beat the keeper.
Henry never really tries to beat players merely just get a foot to one side for a shot or pass, but when he gets in full flight he could accelerate past a concorde.

Everything he does is to do with changes of pace, he is slow, slow then like a jolt of lightning he comes alive and is electrifyingly fast

Ronaldo (the Trickster)
Ahh Cristiano, the superstar.
As a winger he has a few specilised tricks that he always will need in his position
(eg. Cryuff Chop, Stepovers)
Ronaldo is famous for his ability to fake defenders out and then explode by them with fantastic pace.
He has such an amazing vocabulary of tricks
But he sometimes over-indulges himself and loses the ball
Yet for every time he messes up, with his sheer excellence he always recovers with a moment of magic.

Ronaldo’s secret is his quick feet
He has the awareness to realise when a defender is exposed
So he waits and waits trying to tempt a defender to commit or to lose balance with a fantastic array of quick ball movements and tricks then he cuts past them

Now that you see the stars you should get familiar for what to expect (in general) from the various postions

Defenders should be very no-nosense, and shouldn’t spend excessive time on crazy tricks that are no use to quickly moving the ball forward up to attackers
cause the aim of the game is to score and the players who are best suited to scoring are the strikers
so to be an effective team you must get the ball to the strikers as quickly an accuratly as possible
this doesn't mean hoof it up to them.
If you need to fake by someone in all means do so
but don't waste too much time trying to fake players out
Simple Burst of speed and clever fakes are important to practice
Also practice shielding and turning
As you will often have to pass to the keeper to retain possession

By all means practice tricks, but don’t spend excessive time on something you probably won’t use

Centre Midfeilders:
You are the transition point between defence and attack
The idea is to be as quick as possible getting the ball to the attackers or wingers
You generally will only need quick and simple fakes
Fancy tricks only come in handy when you have no other options

Wide Midfeilders:
You are essential for speading the defence
You should be aiming to do one of two things:
-Make a scoring chance as quick as possible
-Hold up the ball for a few seconds to allow your attack to mature

As a winger you will be dribbling a fair bit and controlling some fairly high paced balls
Paticulary you will be moving at high speed when crossing and faking
Practice in these type of conditions.
Early on in games you would want to work the full-back by attacking the space behind him with your speed, with and without the ball
This will mean he will always drop fairly deep later on in the game leaving you plenty of space in-front of him.
When approaching the box your aim is to get to the bi-line and cross the ball, most defenders know this and are very sensitive to wingers who attack the bi-line and you could expose that by faking to go on the outside and cut inside and have a crack at goal.
Your main attribute is your speed, as a winger you want to be quick in accelearting past players so you have enough room to cross the ball
Slowing players down is another good way of improving your play
By slowing down as you approach a full-back who's jockeying, you give your team a chance to get into attacking positions
But you also give the defence a chance to re-organise, so don't do this when on the counter attack
Only slow your full-back down when you have a lack of options in the middle

Click Here to see Nani slow down Traore, then cross

Strikers need to be quick and clinical
Your Weapons should consist of:
-Clever first touches
-Off the ball movement
-Fake kicks and Turns
-Changes of Pace

Fancy move's should only be done when you have time, space and no passing or shooting options
When dribbling you should in-corparate your body into most of your movements and feints to really sell dummies to your defenders while keeping good control on the ball.
Here are a few handy body feints:

Stepover Turn
Do a stepover or reverse stepover around the ball before taking a touch then explode

Fake Kick Touch
Do a fake kick as a first touch to make the defender freeze up, the dribble by him

The Yo-Yo
Look at a defender straight in the eyes and sprint real quick toward him, if he's marking you he will begin to backtrack to try keep up with you, but then you suddenly stop and take a few steps back, creating a pocket of space infront of you, be wise the pocket of space will only be there a couple of seconds

The Gambetta Dummy
While facing a player 1v1 with the ball, dribble straight toward him, but kinda open one side of your foot as if you will turn that way, with each step lean more in the direction then sudden cut the other way, this will not flat out 'beat' a player but give you a yard of space, you see c. ronaldo and maradona do this alot

Double Drop Shoulder
Instead of feinting one way, feint left, then instead of cutting right, feint right and explode left! very effective if done quick and cleverly, you can reverse left to right if you prefer that way


Fast Players
Being pacey sets you a huge advantage, you will find it easy to take heavy touches and race past slow defenders.
But as you move up to higher levels of the game, you will need to be clever with your pace
You will need to learn how to touch the ball with perfect weight while running at full speed
Also lots of practice with simple fakes and cuts cause combined with speed you will rarely need more.
Initially concern your marker, by really burning him with speed
Then the next time you face him fake as if you are gonna do the same and then cut away from him.
When you are running at your highest speed you are no use unless your ball control is excellent, you will also need to keep your head up and watch out for opening or goal scoring chances

It is vital you practice accelerating, the fastest players are the ones who can get up full speed quickest, regardless of their top speed
Utilize your strength by always taking on a player when you have no passing options, cause a sudden burst of speed can change a game

Slow Players
Ok I’m not gonna lie to you, you are at a massive disadvantage without speed, you will have to practice LOADS at accelerating and exploding to make up for your overall speed.
As a slower player you will have to get more adapt at being smart and fast with the ball, not fast as in speed wise, but fast at thought and reaction
Since speed doesn’t directly relate to having quick feet
You should seriously work on drills that improve your foot speed and coordination

Once you get in a 1v1 situation, you need to really over-work the defender by continuosly moving the ball and changing direction suddenly and surprisingly.
Get comfortable with fake kicks and dummy passes.
Since you lack speed you will need to approach the defender as un-predictable and sporadic, also if the option is on play a cross or pass, which covers a lot more ground a lot quicker than you could, if you do this the first few times
Defenders will begin to rush toward the ball trying to stop what he thinks you will do
Then you take advantage of his un-balanced speed and shape up to cross, then simply fake it past him and watch him slide :D

Using Speed
It must be said Speed is nothing without control over it, you need to be tactically sound enough to know not to run in straight lines and take 74 yard touches to beat markers.
Deciding when to run to recive, and when to accelerate forward in a 1v1 is down to one thing, Timing
Always using your experience and anticipation, learn when to explode, no matter how quick you are you will always be on top by using the element of surprise

As a general rule, always make the defender commit to the tackle before you make your explosion of pace, cause this is the best time to take him on, he is vunerable and if he has to turn round he will slow down majorly


Decision Making

You first instinct should always be decided before the ball reaches you, and your first instinct should be to either pass, shoot or touch the ball into a position where you can pass or shoot
From that point you must improvise if your first decision cannot be carried out
Dribbling is a common form of improvisation, your target when dribbling is to get yourself into a position where you can pass or shoot successfully

These vital seconds on the ball should not be wasted on worrying about your technique, you should be naturally good enough to execute something without thinking about it
Otherwise you need to work on it
The time you spend on the ball, you need to be deciding WHAT your gonna do, not HOW your gonna do it

When facing a defender you need to decide:
-Where am I aiming to get the ball
-When is the best moment to make a move
-What move would work best

So first you need to read the defender’s stance and position and asses where would be the most effective place to get the ball to
Then you need to decide should I attack him or do I have sufficient time to let him attack me
After that you need to decide will you fake him out or do a hocus pocus or just cut by him when he is off balance

Move selection
You should have 3 moves that you have set down as your 3 trademark moves, of course you can use other moves, but if you are ever caught off guard, if you have these moves well trained it will just come to you what to do
You should always have 3 different types of moves

This is a move that use’s your body to beat an opponent and is very simple and does not involve touching the ball
the Stepover

This is a move that involves moving the ball to fool the opponent
the Elastico

This is a move that involves turning around with a complete change of direction, usually backed up with a fake to leave your opponent for dead
the Cryuff Turn

But when learning a move start off doing it as slow or as simple possible and slowly build up your ability until you can do the move faster and more exaggerated making it much more effective.
For a larger list of tricks check out the link to dribbling moves at the end of this guide

Vision principal’s
Hugh wrote:Your eyes should be off the ball by this point, whenever you're not in a 1v1 situation your head should be up looking for open players.

Keep your eyes on the defender's feet in a 1 v 1 situation, that way you can see when he commits or becomes off balance.

Keep your peripheral vision open and concentrate on it ALL THE TIME, if you relax and take it easy you'll be able to spot your buddies making their runs, and if you can't see anyone, and there isn't an opening, shield the ball and pass it back, I'm assuming you don't play goalie so there should always be a backwards option.
Remember in general, considering all moves and fakes
To beat a player change your speed and direction quickly will leave them for dead.
If you can try take an angled approach to the marker, to give you more options.
Most of the time you should dictate what happens in 1v1, in some special case’s you could tease the defenders to make the move then react.

Looking Up
Firstly if you have to look (well concentrate) at the ball to do a move you don’t know it well enough to try it!

As you approach an opponent you should always look up to asses their body language and stance, if they look like they are about to sh*t a brick a simple fake and go trick will do
But if they look steady and confident, you either pass early or CONFIDENTLY do a well timed move
You need to be aware of whats going on around you.
To be critically aware of whats happening around you you need to learn to keep that head up and watching out of the corner of your eyes for options and dangers

Making Space
The idea of making space is to get room to strike the ball, the idea is to get enough space past your marker that you can accurately kick the ball, this could even be a split second before the defender recovers so TAKE YOUR CHANCE!

Fancy Foot Work VS Sensible Simplicity
The essence of dribbling is speed and accuracy, you must always think what is the quickest and most accurate way of bringing the ball past this player?
You should always then look up and asses your options, cause a pass travels a lot quicker than you can run
In general people believe an amazing variety of tricks is what makes a good dribbler… wrong
Players with amazingly complex tricks are usually fooling an opponent with the movements of the ball or his body
Then exposing the side that the defender leaves most exposed

A lot of players wait and wait until the defender lunges or commits to a tackle, then simply cuts around them, this is the quickest way to beat a player, but removes your option of which direction you will fake towards, cause you can’t choose.
Then other players use fakes and jukes to tempt defenders into commiting or leaning in one direction, then simply cuts the other, this is a lot more accurate and gives you a greater option of choice.
Then the elite players use a leathal combonation of both, this is by far the most effective way to apply tricks to your dribbling.
Creating an illusion of exposure, so that the defender is tempted to jump for the ball, then you fake and accelerate the other way, and the defender is left gob smacked

So In an argument for Fancy Football or Simplicity
Both have there strengths and weakness’ and both should be applied to various situations.
But one thing to remember is:
In this sport you can never get too simple, but its easy to get too fancy

Football Knowledge

Defenders Types

These will wait until you to try beat them by moving the ball away from your feet and then they shield it away from you. This not only stops your attack but turns it into possession for the other team, which is quite frustarting
To beat them you will need simple and quick 2 touch moves or double fenit moves… eg. Double stepover or elastico

They will rush to you and tackle quickly.
To beat them, calmly but quickly move the ball around them
Never expose the ball to much unless you are confident you will get there first!
You should primarily be watching for his movements and reacting to them not trying to anhilated him with tricks

They'll jockey you and try to slow you down. Feints and stepovers are quite handy here
Stepover and note the defender's reaction. Some defenders will try to tackle you, others will mess up their stance
After exposing him accelerate as quick as possible

Some keep there eyes on the ball and do not follow your feints or jukes
don’t stop moving the ball or they will get their chance to tackle
these are hard to beat, and will require a few quick and clever ball movements to beat
You should make your decision on what type of defenders he is and how to deal with it in a split second, if you ponder too much you will leave yourself exposed
Dribbling is simple but it is hard to learn how to do it simple

Understanding Dribbling
By definition, soccer dribbling is a method used by the ball carrier to pass the ball past a direct opponent, without conceding possession. This may be a tight dictionary-like statement, but in truth soccer dribbling is as simple in concept as that: do anything you can (in the boundaries of the soccer laws) to get past your opponent and keep possession of the ball
At a first glance, that might seem restricted to vertically surpassing your opponent on the pitch, when in truth dribbling can be done sideways, or even back towards your own half (when you want to avoid a tackle for example) and in many cases its just a means of clearing up the space to get a pass or shot in. This doesn’t necessarily get the ball on the other side of your opponent, but it does avoid him, allowing you to continue the play to your teammates.
There are several types of dribbles that have different purposes in the game and by types of dribbles I don’t mean specific moves, or specific tricks, but rather game mechanics involving dribbles that have a certain end-goal.

Pressure Avoiding Dribbles
This is probably the most common type of dribble in the game and as a central midfielder almost every touch of the ball you get will have to be followed by a pressure avoiding dribble. This involves a quick flick of the ball in an area with some empty space when being under pressure from an opponent and its goal is to give you a few seconds to execute a pass, or in some cases a shot.
The most important aspect of pressure avoiding dribbles is knowing where you’re going to move the ball even before you actually get to it. Take into consideration that you will probably only have a couple of seconds to pass or shoot the ball after such a dribble, since the defender will be quick to position himself in front of the ball again, or try to tackle you decisively.
Great examples of players who use this kind of dribble effectively include Ronaldinho, Clarence Seedorf or Michael Ballack.

Speed Dribbles
Speed dribbles are mostly popular with wingers and wing backs, since the wings are usually more open and free and they allow a fast player to virtually throw the ball forward and run for it again, smoking one or two opponents in the process.

Speed dribbles aren’t very fancy in terms of ball control, however the dribbler needs to focus on pushing the ball forward just right so that he doesn’t loses possession to an opposing defender or throw the ball out of the playing bonds. A few examples of great speed dribblers include Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gael Clichy or Dani Alves.

Receiving Dribbles
This is probably one of the most effective ways to dribble, but it can also be the hardest: going around your opponent straight from receiving the ball. It can throw an entire defense off balance and create havoc for the opposing team, but you truly have to be a skilled player to produce great receiving dribbles.

you need to have impressive vision on the pitch, knowing exactly where your opponents are and where you can find some open space on the field, even before the ball gets to your foot.
You need to be in perfect control of the ball receiving technique, since pushing it too soft or too hard will ruin the dribble. Last but not least, you need to use your body to trick your direct opponent off balance, allowing you to turn and push the ball into open space unhindered.

Great Receiving Dribblers, Ronaldinho, Dennis Bergkamp, Robinho, Zidane and Thierry Henry

Training Your Dribbling Skill
You can train dribbling individually, with a teammate or in a group. Individually, you can set up an obstacle course, then wave your way through the obstacles like a skier would through flags. Make sure you use both feet, so you learn how to dribble in each direction and using your weaker foot as well.

Pairing up with a teammate is also a great way to practice your soccer dribbling. This method has two advantages: first of all, it allows you to train your dribbles against a real opponent, which changes quite some parameters in how you train in comparison to avoiding ground obstacles.

Secondly, assuming you change roles with your teammate every now and then, allowing him to become the dribbler, you will also act as a defender and will learn how defenders think when having to cope with an opponent’s dribble.

Group dribbling training sessions mostly focus on pressure avoiding dribbles rather than individually going around a single opponent. Practicing in a group simulates match conditions best and it’s a solid way to work out your dribbling skill naturally, rather than forced like you would have with individual or paired training.

More Training Tips

Technique Building
Learn to dribble in a straight line as quick as possible
Also zig zagging through cones is fun and very benificial

Juggling is fun and a great technique builder, if you want practice juggling in game realistic situations, for example start juggling then flick the ball overhead, turn and control then dribble


50% of dribbling is Confidence
The other half is skill

Usually people have high level's of one or the other but never really a balance between the two, which is vital
eg. a very confident player will seem to need more skill to reach the next level, or visa versa
to truly be a good dribbler you need a balance of both, and have them in huge amounts :D
These are the two most important parts of dribbling and I can’t stress how important it is to have confidence in your ability, a dribbler, even a player, even a person is nothing without confidence
You need confidence in dribbling because so often people fade away when the challenge comes cause they second guess themselves and hesitate, if you do not believe in yourself and your ability, all your training will mean nothing
Have faith in your technique because you will give the opponent the upper hand if you hesitate and don’t concentrate fully on the task in hand

If you repeat the skill enough times it becomes instinct so you do it without thinking. When you reach this level there is no need to plan when to use them, as you confidence in you ability lets your instinct take control

Having confidence is also very much down to responding to negative vibes and decision making
If you make a choice stick with it! See it through to the end, always believe it is the best you can do with the situation
Make choices on a risk vs. reward scale, eg. If you have one player to beat and your through on goal, but no decent FORWARD passing options, take him on!

Thirdly when negative vibes come from teammates, you must think if it is a genuine complaint, say you decided to take on 3 players when you could have squared the ball to a teammate, and he complains apologise and try keep your head up next time.
But if you beat 2 men and get a decent shot of and he complains, think ‘I did fantastic, fu** what he thinks, I’ll pass to him when he makes the effort to run.

You cannot train confidence, but you can train ability, so you if you train enough you will have better trust in what you can do thus more confidence


When training for dribbling you must first understand what makes a dribbler
This can be explained using a heriarchy of what makes a dribbler good:

Talent: Menatlity+ Ability

Menatality: Tactics + Persona

Tactics: Decision Making + Football Knowledge

Persona: Confidence + Determination

Ability: Physical + Skill

Physical: Strenght + Speed + Stamina

Skill: Co-ordination + Control + Moves

So now we decide how best to train each individual skill. From its core

Decision Making
This is largely down to personal experience from playing matches and regonising scenario's, alot through this guide has bin about decide what best to do, but you must learn and put it into action to learn how to use it

Football Knowledge
This again comes down you personal experience and is an aid to descision making, with descision making you decide what to do and with your football knowledge you decide how to do it

Yet another thing you can directly train, but this is very important in life not just football and naturally confident people will excell if they train hard.
But there is arrogance and confidence, arrogance is nearly worse than being un-confident
Arrogant people think they are always right
Confident people aren't scared of being wrong
Whatever you do remember you are not perfect, but getting there is what makes you improve

I cannot tell you tips on getting confident, cause it is an personal trait, so only the person can fix it
Although you can get confidence in your ability by practicing alot and perfecting techniques so you are not sacred of trying them cause they will come off

This again is an un-trainable assest, this can be the deciding factor in wheter you become a great player or an average player
Everything you do you must approach with entusiasim and determinating and with that attiude you will have un-limited opportunity

This is a fantastic mental trait to have, but is very un-common for a player to be hungry enough for his dream to give everything to it
The ones that are, are called proffesional's for that reason
they have enough passion and drive for the sport they can do it as their proffesion

two sub deviders of strenght:

this is accustomed through effort and buliding of muscle mass, all your working out bulids this up

this is an advanced way of getting more explosive and reactive muscles.
plyometric exercise's like boxing, calp push-ups, sprinting and jumping and anything that involves quick, explosive movements will benift your explosive power.
also strecthing has an in-direct benift to this

again can be sub divided into:

Speed of movement:
largely agility focused, focusing on drills that involve alot of running and dodging at high speed
This benifts your ball skills aswell as your acceleartion

Speed of running:
This is improved with lots of acceleartion and sprint training
Streght and power have an indirect benift to this

Another sub divide:

This is to do with how well you can recover after long runs and sprints, which helps if you need time to decide what to do with the ball

This is very important to train so you don't get that dead leg feeling when trying to do a move, this is an excercise that consist's alot of sprints and rests, so your body gets accustomed to quickly remove lactic acid

This is again diveded into two factors:

Co-ordation Speed:
How fast your feet move, this can be trained with high intensity leg movements drills eg. the stationary stepover drill

Co-ordination Accuracy:
How accuracy your feet move, this can be trained with eye to foot reaction drills, eg. juggling or touching the top of the ball with alternate feet

Control is down to the basic's of dribbling, how well you move the ball with the various areas of your foot
Use a series of drills that incorparte moving the ball with accuracy and speed

Click Here for Drills

This is your vocabulary of fakes and feints, you should try as many out as possible during training and street matches and see which you are best at or you find most effective and train them until you can do them flawlessly as your core reaction tricks

Click Here for Tricks

Other NewBornProdigy Guides

NewBornProdigy’s Ball Striking Guide
http://www.expertfootball.com/forum/vie ... hp?t=15192

NewBornProdigy’s Weak Foot Guide

NewBornProdigy's Volley Guide

NewBornProdigy's Dead Ball Guide

"Control, when the ball becomes you"
Last edited by NewBornProdigy on 02 Aug 2009, 12:06, edited 32 times in total.

Sophomore Member
Posts: 36
Joined: 10 Sep 2008, 06:43


wow awesome this helped me a lot im still deciding on 2 more signature moves, 1 being stepovers, the other 2 im still not sure of, any ideas?

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Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


i will edit the list of tricks with better descriptions and mabye video links and gif's

ask me if you don't understand one, or if you have one to add :D

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New born if u dont make it as a playa u shuld go into coaching ur sick

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Joined: 23 May 2008, 19:51


cheers mate lol

it ain't done so check it out in 2 months then make a judgement :wink:

anything anyone would like me to add or take away feel free to ask :D

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Posts: 108
Joined: 01 Aug 2008, 07:12


what is the shirt catch?
R9 heel tap?
vive la figo?
L cut combo?
also when i play in a game i never seem to have enough time to execute 1 of these tricks beacuse defenders come up from behind me,how can i make time for myself so that i can produce tricks?
cheers man
Last edited by FootballAddict5 on 16 Sep 2008, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

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you are amazing man, someone promote this guy to some sort of expert offsider. Your guides are the best on this site.

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Joined: 15 Mar 2006, 19:42


This is a comprehensively great guide, covering everything associated with dribbling. Keep it up fella. 8)

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great guide mate - i look forward to seeing the rest...if you need a hand finishing this one or others yell out - ill help where i can

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I dont agree with his guides been the best, i dont like his guides at all... Fair enough you put alot of effort and time in, but u simply just don't know enough too make a good guide, alot of this is made up and you guess for alot of stuff like 50%confidence in dribbling? confidence is nearly everything in football, skill only matters when your getting too higher level football...Jdefo is the only real good guide maker on this forum and hes gone now i think...

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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 16:26


I dont agree with his guides been the best, i dont like his guides at all... Fair enough you put alot of effort and time in, but u simply just don't know enough too make a good guide, alot of this is made up and you guess for alot of stuff like 50%confidence in dribbling? confidence is nearly everything in football, skill only matters when your getting too higher level football...Jdefo is the only real good guide maker on this forum and hes gone now i think...

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klc123 wrote:I dont agree with his guides been the best, i dont like his guides at all... Fair enough you put alot of effort and time in, but u simply just don't know enough too make a good guide, alot of this is made up and you guess for alot of stuff like 50%confidence in dribbling? confidence is nearly everything in football, skill only matters when your getting too higher level football...Jdefo is the only real good guide maker on this forum and hes gone now i think...
I don't think anyone here should 100% believe in anything any user says, even expert. No one is a true expert on football, the best we can give is good advice and opinions. That said, there are true and false things about football that people know and can convey. Only through experience on the forums will you be able to determine who knows what they are talking about and who doesn't. That's why it's always a good idea to get multiple opinions on a question or subject (and you will get different ones).

That being said...NBP I do agree with klc123 to a point. You have good info and a lot of it, but it could be a lot shorter than it is.

Two reasons to make it shorter:
1. It is really long and a lot of those lines only have one word or one sentence. I think you could use bold and color to more effectively break up your ideas without all the empty space. As it stands, the guide is so long it is overwhelming and both hard to read and to find what you're looking for.
2. The length of the guide makes you look really smart, and I'm jealous :cry: . JK, but seriously you don't need the empty space. I know that you were going to add more to this (maybe you should do different posts??), but the excessive length makes the guide appear bigger than it is, should be, or could be. Remember that size isn't everything. Conciseness is a very good thing.

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klc123 wrote:I dont agree with his guides been the best, i dont like his guides at all... Fair enough you put alot of effort and time in, but u simply just don't know enough too make a good guide, alot of this is made up and you guess for alot of stuff like 50%confidence in dribbling? confidence is nearly everything in football, skill only matters when your getting too higher level football...Jdefo is the only real good guide maker on this forum and hes gone now i think...
Most of his point I agree. So far, with your guides, it's been more a re-cap of all the guides rather than anything. I like the effort, I like the content, but there's nothing new to it, from a guide-reader's perspective. Because when I first came to EF (from a noob's point of view), I read every single guide on the forum, and I guess that these guides just defeat the purpose of having the ensoccerpedia and all.

Like I said before, it's good, don't get me wrong, but sometimes you might be overdoing it just a bit (like with Nat_H said with the content part). I look forward to reading it when its finished though. :wink:

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All I have to say is wow, your post is longer than what most people have written in all of their lifetime on the forums. The man has put in a lot of work and we should show him support.
Also I do agree with Nat, to reach the truth, it's good to look at different opinions, put them to the test and come up with your own conclusion.

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hey man NBP great guide , you put a lot of stuff about dribbling into dat one post (more to come??? :shock:)
really nice to refer to, Caint wait for the descriptions of all the moves (videos too??:D)
great job, I see it took a lot of effort, and I appreciate dat.

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