Football Dribbling Drills

Kids soccer drills to focus on improving a player’s dribbling ability and close ball control. Many of these soccer training drills, unlike passing drills, can be done by young players practicing on their own. Aim to focus on quality and accuracy, to begin with rather than speed and try to look up as often as possible to get used to being aware of other players.

Round To Score

Dribbling drill where players dribble around two opponents then finish with a shot to the goal.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 1 goal, 1 ball per striker

Organisation: Players dribble from the starting point with the ball to the 1st area where a defender is positioned. After dribbling past this defender the player must now take on the 2nd defender. Then with a clear run on goal, the striker must go around the keeper to slot the ball into the net. Continuous practice.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to run at defenders and goalkeeper at pace
  • Increase distances between defenders
  • Add another defender, start run from halfway line

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use (inside for dribbling, outside when running with the ball in open areas)
  • The distance the ball should be away from the dribbler’s feet
  • Players encouraged to do pieces of skill to beat defenders
  • Head up / vision / awareness

Run & Compete

Players sprint around a cone and compete for the ball. More speed and tackling drill than a dribbling one.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 2 goals, and balls

Organisation: Players are split into 2 groups, each group numbers their players. The coach calls a number and those numbered players must run around the pitch, touch the goal post then go for the ball which the coach has knocked into the middle, the 2 players must now compete for the ball and score. (Small goals, no goalkeeper or bigger goals with goalkeepers)

Progressions:

  • Coach can shout 2 numbers
  • Coach can shout 3 numbers
  • Make area smaller or larger

Coaching Points

  • How to shield the ball from the opposition
  • Different methods of  keeping the ball, change of direction, change of pace
  • Players encouraged to beat the opponent with a piece of skill
  • Head up/vision/awareness of space

Obstacle Course

Players dribble around a coned out obstacle course. You can get creative in how you mark out the course.

Aim: To improve dribbling techniques

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: In an area appropriate for age and ability you will need cones and 1 ball for each player.

Organisation: Set up the cones in a marked off area, with five on the starting line and four opposite these, as shown. Between cones three and four and seven and eight, place at least four more cones. The aim is to dribble the ball from cone one to cone nine.

Players dribble to cone two and back down to cone three. Players then dribble in and out of the cones up to cone four, dribble back to five, up to six and down to seven. Players then dribble in and out of the cones up to cone eight and back down to nine, then back to one and start again. 5 laps.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to run at a pace
  • Mirror the practice and have races
  • Time each lap as a target for each player to beat
  • Move cones closer together to challenge skills

Coaching Points

  • Players encouraged to use both feet
  • Emphasis is on keeping the ball close to feet and keeping control of the ball
  • Encourage players to use tricks and pieces of skill
  • Feints/drop shoulder, nutmegs, knock & run, big toe little toe, etc.

Straight Race

Players race to a cone and back then the next one and back keeping the ball under control.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 8 cones, 2 balls

Organisation: Players dribble with the ball to the 1st cone, turn and dribble back to starting cone. They then turn and dribble to the 2nd cone and back, then the 3rd cone and back. The player stops the ball on the line and the next player repeats the practice. Both sides can go at the same time. Continuous practice.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Add more cones or increase distances between them
  • Have a race between the teams

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use (inside for dribbling, outside when running with the ball in open areas)
  • The distance the ball should be away from the dribbler’s feet
  • Head up / vision / awareness

Through The Cones

Football dribbling practice drill where players dribble the ball through cone gates keeping the ball under control.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 1 ball for each player, cones and slalom poles.

Organisation: Players dribble from the starting point through the cone gates, around the top cone and then in and out of the line of cones whilst keeping the ball close under control. Continuous practice.

Progressions:

  • Players to use weaker foot only
  • Make the distance between the cones smaller or larger
  • Add defender instead of top cone
  • Players to go opposite way around activity

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use
  • How to shield the ball from opposition
  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Players encouraged to use both feet

Round The Cones

Players dribble around a triangle of cones for 1 minute continuously. They can go round in any order or direction.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 3 cones and 1 ball per player

The player dribbles around the 3 cones in any direction for 1 minute. Continuous practice.

Progressions:

  • Increase the distance between the cones
  • Players must incorporate turns and tricks
  • Add another player to dribble around the same cones

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use when dribbling (inside, outside, sole)
  • Head up / vision / awareness
  • Encourage players to use both feet
  • Encourage players to increase tempo

Turn Your Opponents Cone

Players dribble the ball around in a marked area aiming to turn their opponents cones over whilst keeping control of the ball.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 6 cones, each player has a ball

Organisation: Players split into 2 teams. Cones of 2 different colours are placed randomly around the area. On the coach’s command, the players dribble with the ball and turn over as many of the opposition’s cones, whilst also turning back over their own cones and keeping control of the ball in 1 minute. Both sides can go at the same time. Continuous practice. The team with the least cones upside down wins.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Place cones around the outside of the area, when a player turns a cone over they must dribble around an outer cone before turning over another cone

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use (inside for dribbling, outside when running with the ball in open areas)
  • The distance the ball should be away from the dribbler’s feet
  • Head up/vision/awareness

Opponents Ball Out

Players dribble the ball around a marked circle keeping control of their ball whilst at the same time trying to kick another player’s ball out of the circle.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked round area, 1 ball for each player.

Organisation: Players dribble around the area in any direction keeping the ball close under control. On the coaches command, all players must try and tackle another player and kick their ball out of the circle, whilst protecting their own ball. Players who have their ball kicked out of the circle retrieve their ball and dribble around the circle until there is one person left with a ball. Continuous practice.

Progressions:

  • Players to use weaker foot only
  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Make circle smaller or larger

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use
  • How to shield the ball from opposition
  • Different methods of  keeping the ball, change of direction, change of pace
  • Head up/vision/awareness of space

Relay Race

A simple drill where two teams race in a relay dribbling the ball between a line of cones. The first team to successfully complete wins.

Aim: To improve dribbling technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Cones and 1 ball for each team.

Organisation: Split players into 2 teams. The first player from each team has to dribble the ball in and out of the cones all the way, then leave it for the next player. The drill is completed once all players have dribbled through the cones.

Progressions:

  • Players to use weaker foot only
  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Move the cones closer together to make it harder

Coaching Points

  • What part of the boot to use
  • How to shield the ball from opposition
  • Different methods of  keeping the ball, change of direction, change of pace
  • Head up/vision/awareness of space

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