Soccer Dribbling Drills | 11 Of The Best

Dribbling is one of the first skills players start to learn in soccer and it’s no surprise that the best soccer players are all able to confidently dribble the ball into space and past defenders. Use these soccer dribbling drills to allow your players to get as many touches on the ball as possible.

This can be done unopposed but you should always try to progress the drill so that they are practicing their drills against a defender.

For each of these soccer dribbling drills, you will have an understanding of the purpose of the drill, the setup, the instructions, coaching points, questions to ask players, and progressions accompanied by a video of the drill.

These are the best soccer dribbling drills

Skill through the square and shoot dribbling drill

4 players are dribbling to the middle and using a skill on the cone. They are then having a shot on goal
Skill through the square dribbling drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this dribbling drill is to encourage players to practice skills at a pace and then take a shot at the goal.

Set up:

  • Create a 15 x 20-yard area
  • 5 x 5 yard square in the middle of the area
  • 1 cone in the middle of the square
  • 4 goals
  • 1 soccer ball per player

Instructions:

Set up your goals opposite each other on the 15-yard line and 20-yard line and line up your players in teams of 3 next to the goals.

Each player will have a soccer ball, and the first player in each of the lines will dribble toward the square and perform a soccer skill on the cone in the middle of the square as if it were a defender.

Players must perform a skill of the coach’s choice that takes the first to the right they will then have a shot at the goal opposite them.

Once the player has exited the square the next player in line can go.

Alternate so now players must perform a skill that takes them out of the square to the left.

Coaching points:

  • Small touches as you approach the square
  • The skill should be performed quickly
  • Big touch that takes you outside the square
  • Shoot as early as you can

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What kind of touches should I be taking before I get to the defender?
  • How fast/slow should my skill be performed?
  • What should I be doing after my skill to get away from the defender?
  • When should I shoot? Why?

Dribbling and shooting through the square Progression

players are dribbling through the square where there are 2 defenders trying to stop them from scoring
Soccer skill through the square with defenders

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer dribbling drill is to help players become aware of the space that is in front of them and dribble through the space with the ball with an end product.

Set up:

  • Create a 20×20-yard area
  • Create a 4×4 yard area in the middle
  • 4 goals

Instructions:

Set up your 4 goals opposite each other on each of the sidelines and divide your players up into 4 groups standing next to each of the goals.

The players at the front of the group will go at the same time and perform a skill in the square and shoot in the goal opposite them.

They will collect their soccer ball and join the group next to the goal that they just had a shot at.

The next person in the line can go when the person in front of them has taken their shot.

Coaching points:

  • Small quick touches up to the square
  • Quick skill and change of direction
  • Big touch out the square

Questions to ask that can lead to coaching points:

  • What kind of touches do I want to take? Why?
  • What speed should I perform my skill?
  • How can I get away after I have performed my skill?

Skills Mirror dribbling drill

2 soccer players are standing opposite each other and dribbling to the cone in the middle where they will use a skill
Skills Mirror dribbling drill

Purpose:

To get a lot of repetition to use skills and turns while keeping their head up.

Set up:

  • Create 2 lines that run parallel with each other and are 10 yards apart
  • Place cones in the middle of the 2 lines ( 1 cone per pair)
  • 1 soccer ball per player

Instructions:

Players should line up opposite each other on the lines 10 yards apart with a cone in the middle of them.

The players will then have a ball each and at the same dribble toward the cone and perform a soccer skill that takes them to the right.

Once they have they have performed their skill on their cone they will dribble to the line where their partner started.

They can perform a turn such as a drag back, an outside hook, or a Cruyff turn so they are now facing their partner and are ready to go again.

Swap over to the players will perform the same skill but it will now take them to the left.

Coaching points:

  • Dribble with your head up
  • Small quick touches
  • Skill should be performed quickly
  • Big touch away in the direction after the skill has been used

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Where should I be looking when I am dribbling?
  • What kind of touches should be taken as we come towards the cone in the middle?
  • Should my skill be performed fast or slow?
  • How can I make sure I get away from the defender after I have used my skill?

Get through the gates

a defender is passing the soccer ball to an attacker. The attacker it trying to score in either of the 2 gates by dribbling through them
Dribbling drill with 2 goals

Purpose:

Encourages players to use a variety of skills and changes of directions to beat a defender

Set up:

  • 15-yard x 10-yard area
  • 2 gates
  • 1 goal
  • 1 soccer ball per 2 players

Instructions:

The defenders will start with the ball in between the two gates and they will pass the ball to the attackers on the opposite side of the area next to the goal.

The attackers must dribble through the gates to score 3 points, if the defender steals the ball and scores in the goal the attacker started from they will get 1 point.

Swap the attacking team and defending team and keep track of the scores. The team with the most points wins.

Coaching points:

  • Keep your head up to see where space and the defender are
  • Use skills to help beat the defender
  • Dribble at different speeds while changing direction

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Where should be looking when we are dribbling?
  • What can we use to help us beat the defender?
  • How else can we beat the defender without using a skill?

1v1 dribbling ladder soccer drill

There are 3 pitch with 2 players on each pitch. They' are playing in a 1v1 with the winning moving up a pitch and the losing moving down a pitch
ladder dribbling drill

Purpose:

Encourages players to try skills and beat defenders in a 1v1 scenario.

Set up:

  • Create a 10-yard x 5-yard area per pair
  • 1 soccer ball per pair
  • 2 goals per area

Instructions:

This is one of the players favourite soccer dribbling drills.

Each pair should have their own area with a soccer ball and 2 goals, this will effectively be a 1v1 in a small area to help improve close control and footwork in tight areas.

The areas will be set up next to each other with winners moving up the ladder and losers moving down the ladder

The player that scores the most goals in the pair at the end of 2 minutes will move up and their pair will be moving down so players should be playing new players at the end of each round.

Coaching points:

  • Small sharp touches when approaching the defender
  • Quick skill and a change of direction to get away from the defender
  • Be confident and try new soccer skills

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What type of touches should I be taking as an approach to the defender?
  • What can I do to help get past the defender?

Goal rush dribbling drill

Soccer players are moving the ball and using a skill on a cone before they shoot on goal
Goal rush dribbling drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill, similar to the other soccer dribbling drills is to get a lot of repetition in performing soccer skills while on the move.

Set up:

  • Create a 15-yard x 20-yard area
  • 2 goals
  • 10 cones
  • 1 ball per soccer player

Instructions:

After you have set up the area and the goals scatter your cones around the area.

The players must try and score as many goals as they can back and forth between the 2 goals.

However, they must perform a skill on X amount of cones ( acting as a defender) before taking a shot at a goal.

You can vary the skills so they must perform a different skill on each cone.

Make sure players are practicing with both feet!

Coaching points:

  • Dribble with your head up
  • Small touches as you approach the cone
  • Quick skill, big touch and accelerate away from the cone

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Why should I be dribbling with my head up?
  • What type of touches should I be taking as I approach the cone?
  • What do I need to help me get past the defender (cone)?

Try to catch me dribbling game

1 soccer player is trying to tag another soccer player while they are dribbling around the square
Tagging dribbling soccer game

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to keep the ball under close control while moving at speed.

Set up:

  • 5-yard x 5-yard area per pair of players
  • 1 soccer ball per

Instructions:

With your area set up start your players on opposite sides of the square, both players must travel around the square in the same direction with their soccer ball.

The player that is able to catch up with their partner and tag them from behind will be the winner.

You are able to vary the direction players are traveling in, what foot players can use and what part of the foot players can use.

Coaching points:

  • Dribble with your head up
  • Small quick touches to change direction around the corners of the square
  • Big touch out of your feet and accelerate out of the corners

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Where should we be looking when we are dribbling?
  • What type of touches should I be taking if I want to change direction
  • What type of touches should I be taking if there is space in front of me?

Skill race dribbling game

Players are trying to get as many points as possible by dribbling through gates
Skill race soccer game

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to practice and get lots of repetition of practice different skills and turns.

Set up:

  • 15-yard x 20-yard area
  • 20 cones to create 10 gates 2 yards in width
  • 1 soccer ball per player

Instructions:

Scatter your 5 gates around your area every time a player dribbles through a gate they will get one point.

You change this so that players must perform a soccer skill or turn when they dribble through the gate.

Coaching points:

  • Dribble with your head up
  • Small and quick touches to keep control of the soccer ball
  • Skills and turns should be performed quickly with a big touch into space and accelerate away.

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • Why should our heads be up while dribbling?
  • What kind of touches should I be taking to keep the ball under control?
  • What do I need to do after I have performed my skill/turn?

King/Queen of the castle Soccer dribbling drill

There are 3 defenders in each square. The attackers are trying to score points by dribbling through the square
King and queen of the castle

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to encourage players to balance risk and reward when deciding to beat a player.

Set up:

  • Create a 15 x 20-yard area
  • 3 5 x 5-yard boxes
  • 1 soccer ball per player
  • 3 defenders

Instructions:

Set up your area with your 5 x 5-yard boxes spread out evenly inside the area.

Place 1 defender in each box and the other players will each have a soccer ball in the 15 x 20-yard area.

If the players with the soccer ball are able to dribble through the square exiting the side that they entered they will get 3 points.

If they are able to exit the side they entered or exit the sides to the left or right they will get 1 point.

Coaching points:

  • Skills and turns should be performed quickly
  • If you see a space accelerate through the square
  • Turn out that if you cannot get through the square

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What pace should our skills and turns be performed at? Why?
  • Do you always need to use a skill to get through the square?
  • Do you always have to go forward? what else could we do?

Don’t get tagged!

There are 2 tagging players who are trying to tag the other soccer players while they are dribbling away
don’t get tagged dribbling game

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to get players thinking about their change of direction and speed to get away from defenders.

This is one of my favourite soccer dribbling drills

Set up:

  • 15×20 yard area split in half
  • soccer ball per player.

Instructions:

This is a great game as a warm-up activity it gets players loads of touches on the ball in a short period of time.

Players are also constantly moving and are having to be aware of what’s going around them at all times.

Divide your, players, equally into the 2 sections in which each player has a soccer ball and select a player to be a tagger in each area.

The taggers do not need a soccer ball and must stay in their own area, the taggers must try and tag the players in their own area.

once a player has been tagged they must move to the other half of the area.

The winner will be determined by the tagger that has the least amount of players in their square.

Coaching Points:

  • Small touches to keep the soccer ball close
  • Use a change of direction and pace to get away from the defenders
  • dribble with your head up

Questions to ask that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can we do to make it easier to change direction with the ball?
  • When I am being chased what can I do to get away from the tagger?
  • How do I know what is going on around me?

Get through the middle

soccer Players are dribbling through the middle section and score in either of the goals
Get through the middle

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer dribbling drill is to encourage players to keep their heads up while dribbling so that they are able to score a goal

Set up:

  • Set up a 15×20 yard area divided into thirds vertically
  • 4 goals
  • soccer ball per player

Instructions:

Divide your area up into thirds and place 2 goals on either end of the area.

Ask your players to score as many goals as they can however they must perform a skill and a change of direction when they get to a line.

You can vary and change the skills you would like them to perform or let them choose

They can only score in the final third, this is to prevent players from shooting from anywhere.

Coaching points:

  • Keep your head up
  • Perform the skill quickly
  • After you have performed the skill your next touch should be a big one into space take a big touch

Questions to ask that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can we do so we know where the space and the goals are?
  • Will my skill be better if it’s performed slower or faster? why?
  • Where should my next touch take after my skill?

Progression:

As a progression, you can introduce 2 defenders into the middle with 2 goals opposite each other in the middle section.

The players are still trying to score as many goals as they can however they must dribble the area with the defenders.

The players do not have to perform a skill at each line.

If the defenders win the ball they can score goals in the middle section.

Final Thoughts

These soccer dribbling drills should give your players lots of practice and repetition practicing their touches and their soccer skills.

These are my 12 best drills for attacking 1v1s.

Players learn by making mistakes so be patient with your players and give them the freedom to express themselves and try new things.

For your players to become successful at dribbling with the soccer ball they must be able to perform skills and turn comfortable on both feet

If you have any other soccer dribbling drills that you use feel free to share them in the comments.

Or if you know a coach who would find these soccer dribbling drills helpful then share it with them using our social media buttons.

Thank you!

Toby

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