Dribbling when performed at a very high level is a wonder to view. When the top professional soccer players in the world are dribbling at full speed it’s a joy to behold. They weren’t just born with the ability to dribble though, they’ve perfected it after years of practice, and, if you want to become a soccer player, you’ll have to practice too. There are no shortcuts.
When people think of dribbling in soccer, they often think of the flair players like Messi, Ronaldo, or Ronaldinho. All of these players have one thing in common – to become the dribblers that they have, they started with the basics of dribbling a soccer ball, and progressed from there.
The Basics of Dribbling in Soccer
- Dribbling is not kick and run. The ball should be kept close to your feet.
- You should touch the soccer ball with each step you take.
- Lift your head up.
Become comfortable with the basics and you’re ready to move on to the more advanced aspects of dribbling:
- If there’s space on the soccer field dribble into it, if there’s not, pass the soccer ball. It really is that simple.
- Learn to dribble with all parts of your foot. Dribbling is about controlling the ball. Being able to do this with the instep, your laces, or the outside of your foot gives you greater control and helps you to become a better soccer player.
- Practice dribbling with both feet. We don’t always get the chance to dribble in soccer with our stronger foot. Utilizing our weaker foot and making it as strong as our other foot is essential.
- Use your body to protect the ball. When a defender comes to challenge you need to dribble with the foot furthest away from the defender.
So, how can you practice dribbling? You should start with a tennis ball. Practicing dribbling with a tennis ball will get you used to controlling the ball and making constant dribbling motions. A soccer ball in comparison should seem much easier.
The most important part of dribbling? A soccer player’s first touch. Taking a positive first touch into space sets you up for either a pass or a dribble. Once you’ve taken that touch, make sure to look up. If there’s space, dribble into it, if there’s not, pass the ball to a team mate.