3 Types of Dribbling You’ll Need in a Game

Dribbling is one of the first and most important skills in soccer. It’s crucial to be able to move with the ball and change direction at any time. There are a number of different qualities that can make a soccer player a great dribbler. Recognizing when and where to dribble is key. There are times when dribbling is the best option, and times when it’s a much riskier option than making a pass. The more you watch soccer to improve your understanding of the game, the more you’ll be able to identify when dribbling is the best option.

Not all great dribblers are great at all three of the types of dribbling listed below. As you train and play, you’ll begin to assess your strengths as a player. All of these can be improved, but you may have one or two that are stronger for you, so be sure to capitalize on those.

Here are three types of dribbling you will need in a game, and tips to be great at each:

1. Getting out of pressure.

If you’re being closed down by a defender, or maybe even two or three, there are a number of ways to break that pressure. Being able to maneuver with the ball in tight spaces and free yourself up is possibly the most useful type of dribbling. The more comfortable you are with the ball at your feet, and the more that using all the surfaces of both feet is second-nature to you, the better you’ll be at getting out of pressure no matter how, where, or when you’re getting closed down. This aspect of dribbling is important for all players on the field, regardless of position.

Drills to improve getting out of pressure:

Building strength, balance, and comfort on the ball

Footwork Patterns to make moves second-nature

Maneuvering around fake defenders

Players to watch who do this exceptionally well:

David Silva (Real Sociedad), Tobin Heath (Manchester United)

2. Running at players to beat them.

Perhaps the most difficult type of dribbling is the ability to run at a player with the ball, and pass them with the ball still under control. This skill is most often used by attacking players. It’s perhaps what is most typically thought of when you think of a great dribbler, but actually the least frequently used type of dribbling, because it involves a good amount of risk that you will lose the ball. This skill requires fewer fancy moves and more an understanding of how to change speed, and use not only your feet but also your upper body to shift the weight of the defender.

Drills to improve running at players to beat them:

Basic 1v1 move practice

Training running with the ball at speed

Practice moving forward with the ball, while being able to shift it laterally

Players to watch who do this exceptionally well:

Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Rose Lavelle (Manchester City)

3. Freeing up space for a pass or shot.

The type of dribbling that is most frequently used in a soccer game is the movement of the ball in order to create space to pass or shoot. Again, this quite often does not require many “fancy” moves, but rather the balance, coordination, and ability to change the direction of the ball quickly and to use not only your feet but your upper body to get your defender off balance. Being able to change your speed or fake a pass or shot are very effective ways to free up space. And it’s important to remember — you don’t need to completely beat your defender to make a quality pass or take an excellent shot. All you need is one foot-length of separation for the ball to get through!

Drills to improve this:

Lateral cone drills

Turn and escape moves

Changing direction at speed

Players to watch who do this exceptionally well:

Frenkie de Jong (FC Barcelona), Debinha (NC Courage)

A huge aspect of dribbling is confidence. You can’t be scared to make a mistake. Read more on how to build pgslot game. At the end of the day, your confidence will come from the work you put into training. Work on the drills above and go through the Dribbling section of our new session that goes live each week in the Techne app. Dribbling is fun to practice and is part of what allows you as a player to showcase your creativity on the field!

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