A simple dribbling game

This is a simple dribbling race that, at first glance, doesn’t seem to be very interesting but children of all ages love it and my U12s ask to play it at almost every session. It just goes to show that good coaching games don’t have to be complicated!

Objective: To improve running and turning with the ball, dribbling skills, fitness.


  • Split your players into pairs. One ball per pair.
  • Lay out a straight line of six/eight cones about five yards apart.
  • One line of cones per pair of players.

How to play: Both players in each pair stand at one end of their line of cones.

One player dribbles the ball at speed to the first cone in the line, turns quickly and passes the ball back to his partner.

He runs back to his partner, collects the ball and runs with it to the second cone where he passes back and repeats the exercise.

When he has taken the ball round each of the cones in this fashion, it’s his partner’s turn.

The first pair to complete the exercise is the winner.

Coaching points: Ask your players about the difference between dribbling and running with the ball.

Answer: When dribbling, a player keeps the ball close because an opponent is trying to take it away. When running with the ball, a player pushes it into unopposed (i.e. empty) space and runs on to it.

Ask them when they should run with the ball and when they shouldn’t.

Tell your players to try different ways of turning with the ball. Which is the fastest?

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