What is soccer dribbling?
First of all, let’s define what “ Soccer Dribbling ” is. The way I understand it is having the ball at your feet and running past and/around players with the ball while maintaining possession. “ Soccer Dribbling ” differs from “Running with the ball” in that running with the ball simply involves running in space with the ball without having to beat an opponent. A simple example of running with the ball is when a player receives the ball in space, on a break away and he/she runs with the ball down the wing towards the opposition goal. An example of dribbling is when a player receives the ball outside the opposition penalty box and dribbles past a defender to shoot or cross the ball for a team mate.
OK, so now that you understand what we mean by soccer dribbling, let’s take a look at what you need to do to successfully dribble with the ball.
The first thing you need to do is decide on the end product. By that I mean, what do you want to achieve by Soccer dribbling past an opponent? Are you on the edge of their box and you want to dribble past the defender and then let off a shot, or are you on the edge of your box and you need to dribble into some space in order to clear the ball?
Approaching the Defender
As you approach the defender, you need to take a look for the space you wish to “move into”. This will help you decide the angle of approach you need when attacking the defender. For example, if you see space to your right (the defender’s left), approach the defender in the opposite direction of the space you want to advance into. This way, the defender will be drawn further away from your desired space and will also be wrong footed as well i.e. their weight will be on their right foot and you are going to attack them on their left foot.
Remember not to approach the defender at your top speed. You are going to dribble past the defender using a combination of change of direction and change of pace.
So, as you approach the defender, slow down a little in order to be able to carry out your move and then be able to immediately change pace i.e. accelerate into the space you have created by your move.
Executing your “Move”
This leads us on to your move. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s the feint or trick or piece of wizardry that you use to wrong foot the defender and then go past him. There are many different moves out there, often named by the players who made them famous. Google or youtube the “Maradona,” the “Ronaldinho,’ the “Stanley Matthews,” to see examples. I only ever used one move that I perfected which was a combination of the drop of the opposite shoulder and a “touch touch” on the ball.
Make sure you can do your moves with both feet and that you can do the move to both left and right of an opponent.