Without a doubt, the most important skill for beginners is the skill of dribbling.
Young players need to learn to dribble within a variety of game situations. They need to learn how to dribble forward unopposed, to change speed and direction, to shield the ball from opponents, to dribble past an opponent, how to dribble to get away from pressure, and how to dribble with all surfaces of the foot.
The ability to dribble is absolutely critical since dribbling is the foundation and preparation for the other fundamental skills of soccer, such as receiving, passing and shooting. A creative dribbler will be able to give himself more time or room to pass or shoot.
The ability to dribble also helps maintain possession of the ball. Whatever the situation, if a player is comfortable with a ball at his feet then the game becomes much easier and more fun.
- Small, soft touches on the ball.
- Keep their head up while dribbling.
- Use both feet.
- Throw the defender off balance.
- Dribbling under pressure.
- Change direction and speed.
If all the U5-U8 teams are focusing on the same curriculum, as it is proposed in this manual, the hope is that all the kids will be learning specific technique what is age appropriate.
If we want our players to fully master the art of dribbling, the following conditions must exist:
- they must start learning to dribble early;
- we must provide many opportunities for dribbling in practices and games, and
- we must create the right game environment where players are not afraid to dribble.