How to Dribble a Soccer Ball: Master the Art of Dribbling (2024)

Are you looking for tips on how to dribble a soccer ball? In soccer, knowing how to dribble the ball is one of the most fundamental skills regardless of your position.

Dribbling is a term that refers to the ability of a player to use their feet to skillfully maneuver the ball up and down the field and past defenders. By improving this skill you will be able to beat the opponents easier with skill moves, escape tight spaces, dribble the ball faster, and become an overall better soccer player.

In this blog post, I will provide you with tips for how to dribble a soccer ball better, whether you are a youth player or a professional.

How to Dribble a Soccer Ball: Master the Art of Dribbling (1)The Art of Dribbling a Soccer Ball

One of the most exciting parts of the beautiful game is seeing your favorite players dribble through one, two, three, maybe even four or more defenders. Dribbling a soccer ball is all about how much body control you have, how well you are able to express yourself, and how well you are able to control the ball.

As with any other soccer skill, to get good soccer dribbling skills you have to practice regularly, consistently, and constantly challenge yourself by dribbling against better, faster opponents. One of the best ways to eliminate nerves on the field, and to play more calmly, is to improve your confidence on the ball by improving your dribbling technique.

The more confident you are dribbling at different speeds, with both feet, and in all directions, the harder it will be for the opposing team to take the ball from you and the more damage you can do when you are on the ball.

How to Dribble a Soccer Ball: Master the Art of Dribbling (2)Tips to Learn How to Dribble a Soccer Ball

Now that you are a bit more familiar with the art of dribbling a soccer ball, let’s discuss some important tips to improve your dribbling speed and technique.

Body Control:

Body control is the most important thing to master if you want to dribble a soccer ball. To have an easier time dribbling the ball make sure you maintain an athletic position, which means you keep a low stance, lean forward slightly, bend the knees, you are off your heels, on the balls of the feet, and you are distributing your weight evenly on both feet for better balance.

Keep the Ankle Locked:

Part of body control involves knowing how to keep the ankle locked, which turns the ankle into a strong rigid and spring-like structure. To lock the ankle you have to learn how to apply fascial tension to the feet, arch, toes, and ankle complex.

Locking the ankle is not only important for kicking a soccer ball, but for dribbling as well, since you are basically kicking the ball with every step while you dribble. The more mobile and strong your feet are, which are your root and your base of support, the easier time you will have dribbling or doing any other soccer skill.

There is a huge difference between performing a skill with a locked ankle compared to with a wobbly ankle.

Ball Control:

After you develop a good level of athleticism and body control, you can begin to focus more on ball control. To improve your ball control, it is important for players to keep the ball close to their feet and take a lot of small touches, as opposed to a few long touches.

Keeping the ball close to your feet allows you to move in any direction, change feet quickly, and protect the ball better. Although you want the ball very close to you, you always want to make sure that the ball is in front of you and not too close to your feet because you may trip over the ball.

Also, if the ball is too far you will most likely lose the ball, so find a balance, but typically the closer the ball is to your feet the more control you will have.

Change Directions A lot and Fast:

Soccer is a game of deception and deceiving your opponents, which involves faking that you are going one way and then quickly going in the opposite direction.To better understand how to deceive your opponents with simple, but effective body feints, I highly recommend watching videos of elite players such as Lionel Messi, Hazard, or Iniesta, who are masters of the body feints and quick changes of direction with the ball.

Also, check out this video to learn how to dribble like Mitoma– a Japanese Premier League Player who played College Soccer in Japan and did his senior thesis on how to get better at dribbling.

Use Both Feet:

The better you get at using both feet while dribbling, the more unpredictable, composed, confident, and creative you will become. Being able to use both feet properly opens up so many more possibilities on the field and can help you stand out from other players who are mainly one-foot dominant.

This is why you should try to use your left and right foot equally to make sure you don’t create too much of an imbalance between both sides.

Keep Your Eyes Up:

Part of being able to change directions fast and use both feet to dribble and avoid the opposing defenders is by dribbling with your eyes up. Take a look at this video of Rodrygo from Real Madrid dribbling to get a better visual of what I am talking about.

When you are dribbling it is okay to look down from time to time, but you want to do your best to dribble with your eyes up most of the time so that way you can spot your teammates making runs as well as the empty spaces or create space yourself.

Being able to dribble with your eyes up comes from having elite body awareness and body control, which comes primarily from your fascia system.

Predicting Opponent’s Movements:

While dribbling a soccer ball, it is very important to predict an opponents’ next move to increase your chances of keeping the ball and creating dangerous plays. By observing their body language – such as their stance or gaze direction – you can often anticipate their next move before they take it.

This gives you an upper hand because instead of reacting after they’ve made a move (which might be too late), you can position yourself accordingly for defense or attack by anticipating actions beforehand. Remember, reacting and anticipating are two different things.

Develop Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness means being aware of where everyone else is relative to yourself and the ball. Achieving elite spatial awareness involves constant scanning and having an understanding of your team’s formation, tactics, and your position.

One of the best ways to improve scanning and awareness is to read this book, “Scanning: How to Train it and Develop Game Awareness. See More Think Quicker Play Better” by Kevin McGreskin and start applying the concepts. By having elite spatial awareness, you can know where you will dribble to, or choose if it’s best to dribble or pass the ball, long before you even get the ball.

How to Dribble a Soccer Ball: Master the Art of Dribbling (3) Image by Unsplash +

Dribbling Drills

Now that I have gone over some tips to improve your dribbling, let’s talk about the best drills to improve faster.

  • Dribbling against real opponents in different settings such as
    • Real games
    • Team trainings
    • small sided games (5v5,7v7, or9v9)
    • Pickup games
    • Futsal
    • Beach soccer
  • Dribbling barefoot
    • Take your soccer cleats off and practice dribbling a soccer ball with your bare feet only
  • Maximal Intent dribbling
    • Dribble at maximum speed down the length of the field, or how ever much open space you have, and do skill moves along the way
    • Similar to “shadowboxing” the point of this is to imagine there are players trying to take the ball from you and as you are dribbling at maximum speed you are doing skills to move to avoid them.
    • This only helps if you go at game speed instead of going through the movements slowly

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training programandsoccer appisFootball Entangled.There is no other program likeFootball Entangledon the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

How can I learn more about the game?

To learn more about soccer the most important thing is to join a team and play the game as much as possible. If possible,analyze high level gamesas much as you can and your own games as well by recording them with asoccer camera. Also readsoccer books, listen topodcastsandinterviewswatchsoccer documentaries,as well as somemovies,tv shows,andanime.

What is the best way to dribble a soccer ball?

The best way to dribble a soccer ball is by using the outside foot/laces, as opposed to the inside foot. When one foot touches the ball forward, the dribbling foot, the other foot is pushing off the ground. One foot pushes the ball, with the outside of the foot, and the other foot pushes you off the ground.

Who is the best dribbler in the world?

The best dribbler in the world, and arguably of all time, is none other than Lionel Messi.

Conclusion

In conclusion, having good ball control and dribbling skills, arguably some of the most important soccer skills to train, will make you a better soccer player regardless of what position you play. In this blog, I discussed the art of dribbling a soccer ball and provided you with many tips that you can start using today to improve your dribbling pace and technique.

So now that you have read over our tips on how to improve your dribbling skills, get a soccer ball, grab some cleats or your bare feet, head outside, and start training.

How to Dribble a Soccer Ball: Master the Art of Dribbling (2024)
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