Getting more comfortable dribbling with the ball

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Dribbling takes practice

When you improve your dribbling you will notice! And so will your teammates. Knowing you can get out of sticky situations with possession offers a plan B, if a move doesn’t come together. Sometimes you may have opponents trying to close you down and passes are blocked.

In scenarios like that, you need to be handy, well with your feet that is. You want to be able to carry the ball and change direction at will, on either foot at ease. Without even thinking you just switch lanes. You can spend time focusing on creating and what your teammates are doing. Spotting any potential runs or moves.

Here are some basic exercises to do daily for the quickest results. Minimum 30 minutes.

Figure 8 around two cones

Figure 8 Dribbling Drill

To start off, you will place two cones side by side about stride apart. Carry the ball in a figure eight shape using the cones as the two guide points. Ensure you use both feet, then both feet only individually. Start at a medium pace then slowly increase speed until you are really pushing yourself. Increasing the space between the cones will also help develop your longer distance dribbling agility. Finally, try adding an extra cone in the middle to make it extra difficult.

Advanced Tip: When doing any dribbling drill try to incorporate tricks and different ways of using the ball e.g. flicks, rolls and other parts of your feet. Try to imagine you are playing at match pace.

Central square – In/out

Create a small box around double shoulder width on each side. You will be standing in the middle. 

With the ball, dribble out of the box and as soon as you are out quickly flick the ball back using the bottom of your foot, and dribble back into the box to a stop. Try on all sides of the box using both feet. You will want to imagine you switching direction with an opponent chasing, or you are stopping the ball at the byline.

An amazing video featuring Alexander Hleb, a master dribbler who was at Arsenal in the mid 2000s.

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