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How to Dribble a Soccer Ball

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Dribbling allows you to posses the ball and move it up and down the field.

It allows players to sprint into open space (taking the ball with them) and get past defenders.

It’s a vital skill to learn. Here’s the basic technique

Dribbling Technique

Proper dribbling technique is very easy to learn, and will allow you to dribble and control the ball better.

1.  Use Your Arms

Using your arms is a very important part of dribbling.  You can use them to help beat other players, shield, and to keep your balance (a huge part of dribbling).

Read Using Arms in Soccer

2.  Athletic Position

An athletic position will allow for maximum speed while dribbling and allows you to cut better.  Your dribbling position should be relaxed and comfortable.  Do not lean back or forward.

3.  Balls of Your Feet

While dribbling it is VERY IMPORTANT to remain on the balls of your feet.  This allows you to easily shift positions and dribble at maximum speed.  Your place foot and your dribbling foot should both land on the balls of your feet.

The balls of your feet are the front part while the back part is the heel.

4.  Soccer Hop

Whenever you do any touches your place foot should be hopping very slightly.  When you get this right, you will be able to dribble much better.

5.  Raise Up Your Knee

This allows you to jog or sprint naturally with the ball.  You should raise the knee of the dribbling foot with every type of dribbling touch.

The Parts of the Foot

  • Outside
  • Inside
  • Bottom or sole
  • Top or laces

To be an efficient dribbler you need to utilize all the parts of your foot.  Once you master the touch of every part, you will be able to string together moves.

Outside:

The outside of your foot is used to cut either left or right depending on which foot the ball is at.  The outside of your right foot will allow you to cut left while your outside left foot allows you to cut right.

Inside:

The inside of your feet is the opposite of the outside.  Right cuts right while left cuts left.

Bottom (Sole):

The bottom of your feet allows you to roll and stop the ball.  Use the sole of your foot to roll the ball in any direction.
To some beginning player’s surprise, the bottom or sole is of great use.  It adds a whole new level to dribbling.

Top (Laces):

The top of your foot is used while dribbling straight.

Turning

What happens when you need to turn around?  Walking around or jumping over the ball will allow the defender an easy steal (if he can control his laughter).  Therefore, you need to learn how to turn the ball efficiently.

Here are some basic turning moves:

Pull back:

  1. Put your sole on top of the ball.
  2. Pull the ball backwards across your body. (Important!)
  3. Turn the correct way (If doing a right pull-back turn right)

Beginning Dribbling

When dribbling try to use each part of your foot.  The only way to get comfortable is to do it over and over again with each foot.  For example, dribble back and force in your yard (when you get to the end, perform a turn) using your laces.

Once you get better at that, try using your inside, then your outside, then rolling.  Though dribbling over and over may seem monotonous, it is important for your development as a player.

Once you are fairly confident with the parts of your feet, you can try to combine them.  For instance, dribble using only the inside and outside of your foot.

Also make sure to practice with both feet.  When you get good at both (your weak foot will take longer to master), you can combine your feet to become an even better dribbler.  As you will see, there is good reasons for mastering all the parts of your feet with both feet.

Changing Pace

When you first started dribbling, your probably dribbled slowly.  When you sped up, you probably lost control.

However, you should now be able to jog with the ball.  Practice jogging and soon you will be able to sprint with the ball.  Don’t rush things though, it important that the ball always stays close to you.

Try to practice switching paces.  The better you can do this, the better explosion you have.  Explosion greatly improves your ability to beat or get past defenders.

How Far Away Can Your Ball be?

How close you are to your ball depends on the situation.  When a defender is right in front of you, you obviously don’t want to take a big touch.  However, if there is open space, you can take a bigger touch.

You will learn by experience how much you can get away with.  Though taking a bigger touch allows your to move faster, it also may allow defenders to take the ball.

Also, don’t forget about goalies, many players take a big touch on breakaways, allowing the goalie to take the ball.

What to Read Next

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