With a ball at the feet and a determined mind, every football player piques up our anxiety and enthusiasm in the field with their skills and tricks. The game of football might seem like a simple, though energetic game. But amidst of 11 eyes on you, your sole focus should be on the single round ball at your feet. What makes you perfect in the ground is your skills. Imbibing few flamboyant dribbling skills earns you the attention of the entire spot.
Dribbling in football is a hard nut to crack, it is one among the most difficult ball skill to master on. But once you gulp it, you own the field. Dribbling is an attacking move, where the player should retain the ball with them, until the opponent is defeated. There are numerous types of dribbles. Not all are the same, each have its own key distinctive feature. The most relevant dribbling in football is the balls passed by key pass or shots. The characteristic feature is that most of the dribbling’s passed pauses a threat of foul play for the opponent team. This gives the advantage of extending the time to shoot for the other team as well as an opportunity to threaten the opposite team. Football dribbling skills are not hard to master on and maintain. Advanced players use deep dribbling moves in order to attack the opposite team and provide a fairly good passing move. Unlike other tricks these are purposeful and issued for a reason.
So here are a few easy yet effective dribbling techniques to practice which will help you master the skill of controlling the ball, maintaining better movement and balancing to move the ball during the game -
Making gentle contact with the ball:
Every time a player makes contact with the ball in football it's called "TOUCH". And using gentle touches will make your contact with the ball more number of times, although it does seem to slow you down initially, practicing regularly will help you advance faster with more control over the ball. The more frequent your foot touches the ball, the more control you gain over the ball's movements.
Ball has to be kept within the vicinity of the feet:
While practicing, your knees should be bent while you pass the ball back and forth between the inner aspect of your feet from one foot to another. While playing with your opponent your body should be between the defender and the ball and by doing this, you will be able to change direction faster. And when the ball is kept in the vicinity to your feet the defenders find it more tedious to tackle the ball.
Leading-edge of the foot to be used for dribble galloping:
Gallop with the same foot every time you step forward, as this will help in keeping the ball close to your foot always and keep the leading edge of your foot forward while you are running as this would ensure contact between the ball and leading edge of your foot hence giving you maximum speed and balance. This applies only for moving the ball downfield with as much speed and control as possible and not making cuts, direction changes, and stops, etc.
The sole reason might be to score a solo goal, create the time and space for the teammates to cover up and score. What is important is your control, timing, moves and speed, without which a good dribble can never be executed. Now let’s pass the ball to get an idea of different types of dribbling in football
Ball to placed at the lower edge of your peripheral vision:
The beginners end up using most of their visual field on the ball as they develop dribbling skills, rather as early as possible it is good to practice keeping the ball at the bottom of your peripheral vision and doing this gives you an edge over the other players as it would help you maintain better awareness about the rest of the field like scoring positions, open teammates, any weak point in the defenses, etc.
Altering the dribbling pace:
Proceeding in the same and predictable manner serves an advantage to the defender and you could be hung by the defender easily, hence it’s very important to throw the defenders off balance on the field by practicing ways to alter your dribbling pace with which you could more fluidly change the pace in confusing ways.
Use your body to defend the ball:
Your body should shield the ball every time the defender gets close so you could your any body part like arms legs and shoulders to keep the defender off the ball ensure that you are between the ball and the defender and also try to keep the ball on the foot that is farthest from the defender.
Find an empty field or ground to practice your dribbling. You can practice sprinting with the help of gentle, leading-edge touches. Keep the ball closer to you rather than keeping it a few yards away. While doing this, make sure your gallop speeds up to a run as you do not need to control the ball here.
Dribbling while running:
Speed dribbling is referred to as moving the ball downfield with speed and control. For doing this technique properly, your foot should be slightly turned in at the ankle with the front of the foot down. By doing this, the front outside part of the shoe contacts the ball just above the middle toe of your feet. Make sure that this method should lead to contact with the ball every five to eight steps. This will help you run and stride instead of slowing down every time to contact the ball.
Dribbling with the help of cones:
Dribbling in and out through the cones can help you improve your dribbling skills. Place 5 cones, each 3 feet apart roughly, and with the help of one foot, weave the ball through the cones. Shift alternately between the leading edge of your foot and the inside part of your instep to pass the ball in and out between the cones. Once you are done, try doing it in the opposite direction as well. You can do this in several bursts as down and back three times. Make sure that you practice this drill with both your feet, as only the dominant foot won’t help. Make sure that if the cone falls, you are either going to fast or you do not have control over your feet. So slow down and practice with patience.
This drill requires the inside instep of both your feet. This is a side-to-side motion of the ball. Push the ball forward with one foot and then backward with the other foot while weaving it through the next set of cones. This motion will help you pass the ball and changing the direction of the ball on a moment’s notice.
Practice an inside-outside drill through the cones using both your feet. Once you start, the ball gains momentum between the cones due to the inner instep of the foot from the side. If you pass the ball from the left side of the cones, use your left foot. Then, to maintain the momentum of the ball, use the leading edge of the other foot. While starting the next set of cones, take a step forward with the first foot without touching the ball. Catch the ball with the help of the inner step of the previous leading-edge.
How To Dribble In Football
(Different variations of dribbling)
This is a simple football dribbling skill which can be mastered with few continues practice. In low dribble, you have to keep the ball bouncing low, that is nearest to the floor. By extending your hands limit the opponents space to intrude in and take over the ball. Keep on passing the ball or divert your opponent by holding the possession of the ball by bouncing it low.
Pressure Avoiding Dribble
This one is a common kind of dribble in football. Technically every ball that you get to kick follows a pressure avoiding dribble, when you are a central midfielder. This is done by a quick flick of the ball thereby giving a few seconds to execute a pass. The player must be well aware of where he\she is going to kick the ball even before getting into it. Thus apart from physical skills what is important is the presence of mind and consciousness in the field, that determines your skills in football.
This technique is mostly used when the player is not guarded heavily by the opponent players. Taking the advantage of a vast and open ground, use the time wisely to act in speed with your feet and control of your body. Here the player kicks the ball a bit forward and run to it without losing the control over it. The mind and body should act accordingly to possess the ball. At time you have to smoke out few players who might be there on your way. Keep in mid not to use any foul tricks to reach the ball and utilize your inner skills.
Change of Pace Dribble
This is a kind of trick that you play with your opponent. You disguise that you are stop the pass. This is done by slowing down the pace of your motion and act as if you are going to stop passing the ball with your feet. Once you trick the opponent, assuring that he is confused explode with speed and drive through the opponent to score.
Cruyff turn, named after the legendary Dutch football player Johan Cruyff. This kick is executed the moment you realize that there is no escape for you from your opponent and you are strongly guarded. While executing a reverse dribble or Cruyff turn, the player disguises that he is going kick the ball forward. But instead of kicking it forward, he/she stops the ball by the foot and smoothly draws it back behind the standing leg. Right after this move, turning the hip at 180degree, the player shifts the weight to the other foot. This is a hard technique to master, but once a pro, then you’ll be the spot point of every field.
There are different variations of step overs among which the outside step over remains the classic. Step overs include, Sole roll step over, backward step over and outside step over.
This defense mechanism, invented by the Argentinian striker Pedro Calamy no. The outside step over is an excellent dribble, where you make the opponent believe that you are going to drag it with you to continue forward, by giving him/her the side view. To master it is hard nut to crack. So initially you have to make a counterclockwise motion inside the pole, to deceive the opponent that you are moving it forward with your strong foot. But what you actually do is, drag the ball back with your other foot backward outside the pole, thereby leaving your opponent in confusion and chaos.
The signature move of Iniesta seems quite smooth rather than other strenuous dribbles in football. In this rubber band move, the player simply moves the ball to the other foot at the right and accurate instance. The dribble is done with two graceful kicks within your feet sideways. Do it with a small jump on each side, to execute the kick. The moment you are planning to take the ball further forward, keep in mind you don’t tackle your foot, while getting the scooping foot out of the way.
Just as the name suggests, this dribble makes you move like a smooth and flexible elastic. It includes several variations within, like The inside outside move, Out siding move, Hocus Pocus, Jumping elastic etc. in the basic elastico dribble, the steps to be followed are:
Always start with your strong foot first. For the next move tap the ball using your outer toe area. Now by dragging your leg forward catch up with the ball. Once you stomp, with the heavy beat, rotate your foot, pointing the opposite bounce side. This is to do a tap in elastico
You can also practice with a slide move in elastico. This is a bit hard to master on but easier to pull off once you are moving quickly. Drag the ball outwards diagonally, as if you are pushing a ball with your legs rather than kicking it. Now with a quick pace bring the ball back by stomping and changing the angles of your foot.
Always try practicing this dribbling in a slow pace and then build up the speed once you are confident and well trained. If you are ardently keen on practicing this move in a quick pace, then follow this tip. Instead of your stronger foot, try dragging the ball back with your weak foot in your initial attempts. By doing so, you start practicing harder and the more you stress upon it, the easier it becomes with dedication.
These are few of the dribbling in football which can improve the performance of a player in the field. Football dribbling skills are hard to master upon, but once you are a pro, the field is yours, because tricks and quick moves forever catches the glimpse of the beholders eyes. This list includes types of dribbling which suits both beginners and advanced players. So before heading to the ground, catch upon with few of these tips, so that you never fail a chance consciously.
Exercises that you can do to improve your skill
The practice is a must to excel at anything. For football dribbling, the best way to practice dribbling is to take a ball to an open space with grass and dribble back and forth. If you dribble with your laces, dribble forward with one foot and dribble backward with the other. You can also learn the other types of touches by turning your body to the side and do the same as mentioned earlier. As you keep practicing, you start becoming comfortable. At this point, slowly start to increase your dribbling pace while keeping the ball under control. You will eventually be able to sprint at fast speed while dribbling and keeping the ball close to your feet. Always remember to train all the skills with both your feet.
Here are a few exercises that you can do to improve while practicing:
High knee running - to bring your knee as high as possible while running/jogging
Plyometric exercises - Gains a better vertical jump strength as well as strength
Closed space dribbling - helps your to dribble in tight spaces
Partner drill - help you with your passing skills while dribbling
Cone drill - helps you move along with the ball under your control
Hotbox pass - improves passing skills
Shooting - making good goals
Turn and shoot - this will help you make goals by asking one of your team members to pass it back at you
Agility shot - shooting from the penalty area with 3 cones in between
Juggling - improves ball control
Against the wall - kick the ball against a wall to improve your first touch
Dynamic stretches - help you maintain and gain range of motion
Interval training - to built endurance
Compound exercises - build strength training
Do not neglect upper body training and strength
Jumping rope - to develop speed and coordination
Watch professional and international matches
Width of the field - on offense
Breathing exercise - to improve your control
Specialty skill - if you think you are good at a particular skill, develop it
Push your limits - that’s when you can find your true potential
Ability box juggling - juggle the ball as much as you can with both your feet
Consistency - set a goal every day and keep it consistent
Change spots - do not keep practicing at the spot in the field, you will feel trapped
Juggling backward - increases your touch
Ball control - learn to control with your feet, head, and chest
Make contact with the ball - for control
Use foot’s leading edge - to carry out dribbling
Protect the ball - shielding
Use fingertips to handle the ball, not your palm
Tips To Remember
It’s important to remember few tip while executing a dribble in football. This might help you to serve a perfect pass without a foul play.
Contact gently with the ball and do not smash it like your foe
Make sure the ball is closer to your feet
Keep on practicing changes in your pace and directions
Use your body to shield the ball.
The quality of a good dribbler is to foresee their opponents move or wait for them to go first.
Keeping your control is cardinal in dribbling, and your center of gravity serves this part.
Keep in mind, your ultimate aim is pass the defender possessing the ball in your tight grip
These are few handy tips to help you mold as good and skilled player. Dribble it – travel with the ball and take it wherever you want to. So now head in to the ground, be the spot of your beholders eye and kick the ball with the smooth and graceful moves on the wide green field.
As a defender with the typical defender's build, what's the best way to stop a small, quick, explosive, dribbling striker? And how do you do it without resorting to dirty tactics like the notorious throat/neck tackle?