coach basic dribbling skills

Dribbling is, perhaps, the most important skill a player can have or work on. Your children will put opposition players out of the game by dribbling past them.

And by dribbling, they're showing that they're not afraid of being tackled.

That said, there are occasions when it may be wrong to dribble.

Why? Because the most skillful dribbler cannot always beat the opposition.

If they are dribbling in the attacking third, it doesn't matter too much if your players lose the ball occasionally.

But if they dribble near your goal, losing the ball can obviously have serious consequences. But that doesn't mean you should tell your players never to dribble near their goal. Your players shouldn't be afraid to try anything - it's the only way they will learn.

If your team concedes a goal because a player lost possession while dribbling in their own penalty box, don't make a big thing out of it.

Fear has no place on the soccer field and in soccer coaching never say never!

To practise dribbling skills, start with football warm-up games that have players repeatedly touching the football.

Then you can work on some basic dribbling moves:

The Stop and Go

This is simply a change of pace. You jog slowly with the ball, usually when a defender is alongside of you, then burst past the defender. The key is a change of pace with the ball.

You can also put the sole of your foot on top of the ball when stopping the ball and then push it forward with your instep when you break off on the dribble again to escape the defender.

The Cut Back

With the inside of the foot you cut the ball back behind your body. Using your right foot to cut the ball back, you plant your left foot to the side of the ball, then bring your right foot up to cut the ball back.

You can often tie this in with a fake shot (see below). Dribbling away from a defender into space, you fake a pass or shot then chop the ball back with the inside of the foot you used to fake the pass or the shot.

The Fake Shot

Simply cocking the leg back as though you are going to shoot can deceive a defender and make them commit themselves to a poorly-timed tackle.

The Step over

Take your right foot over the ball and dribble away with your left. Also called the scissors.