How To Dribble A Soccer Ball Like A Pro: Drills And Skills Guide (2024)

How To Dribble A Soccer Ball Like A Pro: Drills And Skills Guide (1)

Learning to dribble is a fundamental soccer skill that all ages and levels should look to improve. Whether you’re a first-timer or a skilled player with years of experience, there’s going to be something to learn here.

Soccer Ball Dribbling By Touch

There is more than one way to dribble a ball, and depending on your skill level will depend on where you spend most of your time practicing.

Here is a breakdown of how to dribble a soccer ball by foot position.


For the basics of dribbling a soccer ball, I would suggest using the top of your foot for the easiest ball control. This form of dribbling is ideal for dribbling in a straight line.

Tap the ball in front of you using the top part of the cleat. The distance of the ball to your body should be as close as possible. You don’t want to hit the ball too hard as you will likely lose possession in a match situation.

One quick tip is to push the ball forward with your laces. Avoid kicking the ball. Reserve this kicking motion for crosses, long passes, and shots. You want to tap the soccer ball as gently as possible. This will ensure the ball stays close to your person at all times.

I can’t explain enough how important this is. Think about situations where you are 1 vs. 1 against an opposition player. If you are dribbling toward a defender and you hit the ball too hard in front of you, it’s an easy interception for the defender.

Your other foot needs to be behind you, and not next to the foot you are dribbling with. When your non-striking foot is too close to the ball, you run the risk of tripping over. Balance is an important part of dribbling, and it allows a player to move faster. You should instinctively have your foot behind you, but young players may need this cue to help them dribble better.

Side Of The Foot

Once you have mastered dribbling with the laces part of the cleat, you can begin to use the inside and outside of the foot. Using these parts of the cleat allows for better control and allows you to change direction.

The same rules apply to using the sides of your feet as it does to the laces. You are pushing the ball, not kicking it. A good mantra for dribbling is less is more. It should look effortless and feel effortless. If it’s forced you’re likely to run into problems and lose possession in a match situation.

You also need to ensure your non-dribbling foot is behind the ball so you can maintain your balance and can avoid tripping over your feet.

Dribbling Drills To Practice

I’ve split these drills down into three categories. Rank beginners who have little to no experience with dribbling a soccer ball should start with the beginner category. Soccer players who are already part of a team should look at the intermediate category. Whilst those who are well-established in soccer can look at the expert dribbling drills.

I’ve ordered these so that you work on the three key areas of becoming an expert dribbler. First, you want to work on technique which means keeping the ball as close to your body as possible while taking as few touches as you can.

Then you can build up your speed by increasing how fast you run the drills. Make sure you don’t rush this and that you master the technique before moving on to speed. As it’s only going to get tougher for the third stage.

This is where you are dribbling with purpose. It’s all well and good dribbling with nobody else around. But once you get into a match situation, it’s a completely different situation.

You need to ensure that you can get into open spaces, look for passes, and make room for goal-scoring opportunities. All while keeping good control of the ball. Tackle each section below and you’ll soon get there in no time.


Set two cones about 30 feet apart. Starting from one of the cones, dribbling the ball to the other cone whilst walking. Once you reach the other cone, stop the ball, turn around, and repeat the exercise using the other foot.

This will allow you to become comfortable dribbling with both feet, at a slow pace. Repeat this 3-5 times making sure to switch feet between lengths.

Once you have become comfortable with walking and you are keeping the ball close to your body, you can up the ante by incorporating a slow jog.

You can then repeat this process until you can go as fast as you are able while maintaining control of the ball at all times.


If you’re at this level, then you have likely done this drill in soccer practice already. You are going to set 7-10 cones out with enough space to dribble between each cone.

Starting from the end, dribble the ball from left to right, between each cone until you reach the end. Turn around and complete the process again. I would repeat this 3-5 times with a rest between rounds.

If you want to make this harder (which I recommend you do), then you should aim to only take 2-3 touches between each cone, ensuring the ball is stuck to your foot. If the ball is going too far out then you are striking the ball too hard and need to focus on gentler touches.

Expert Level

Place one cone in the middle of a square, with four cones representing the four corners. You can space the cones out as much as you like, but 7-10 feet from the center to the corners is ideal.

Starting from the middle, take as few touches as possible to one of the corners and dribble the ball around the cone. Then dribble back to the middle, dribble around the cone, and move on to the next cone.

This is where you can get fancy. When you arrive at one of the corner cones, feel free to get creative and use the inside or outside of your foot to control the ball. Do step-overs or drag the ball behind you, whatever takes your fancy.

Remember to keep the ball as close to you as possible and the least amount of touches that you can. Repeat this exercise 3-5 times and take a break between each round.

Is there Anything Else I Should Improve?

Along with dribbling, I would recommend you become better at striking a ball with power and accuracy. Combine this with an aptitude for dribbling, and you’re going to be one of the most versatile players on the squad.

Here’s a guide on how to improve your shooting power and accuracy.


How Else Can I Improve My Dribbling?

Other than taking the time to practice the drills above, I would recommend trying to dribble without staring at the ball. This will be vital for match situations with potential passes or through balls. It’s also quite tough to master this, so ensure you give yourself plenty of time to practice.

You should also practice with your weaker foot as much as possible. You never know when you might need to use your other foot to get out of a tough situation on the soccer field. Plus it’s always handy to be well-trained on both feet.

How To Dribble A Soccer Ball Like A Pro: Drills And Skills Guide (2024)
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