How to Get Better at Dribbling in Soccer & Take Your Game to the Next Level

By | Last updated December 19, 2017

I think you’ll agree:

Dribbling in soccer is a SUPER tough skill to master.

Is it really?

Actually, it can be easier than you thought…

…if you remember the basics and practice the right drills with other people or by yourself.

And in this article post (and video), I’ll showing you what those basics and drills are… and how you can take your dribbling skills to the next level.

Introduction

For those of you out there that have advanced past the beginner’s dribbling (as we have discussed before), you may be wondering where to go next.

The game of soccer, especially in the modern era, has seen a resurgence of sorts when it comes to dribbling.

While most teams don’t utilize a dribbling maestro any longer, it is still a useful tool when used on a possession-based side.

Hence the need to learn to be as good of a dribbler as possible is huge, because passing, shooting or simply booting the ball isn’t always the answer.

Today’s article will help you learn how to get better at soccer dribbling and unlock your full potential!

Keep Grounded and Remember the Basics

Before we go any further in our path to learning how to get better at dribbling in soccer, you need to comprehend that your foundation is always the basics.

No matter what you do in this sport, you need to know the fundamentals and never be afraid to practice even the most rudimentary of skills.

No skill move is worth learning without the core fundamentals.

With that being said, remember to keep the football close by unless you are much quicker than the other player and keep your body behind the ball so that it does not get caught under your feet, causing you to lose either the soccer ball and/or your balance!

Individual Soccer Dribbling Drills

There are a number of things that you can do in order to get better at dribbling in soccer by yourself.

Anyone that has become anyone in association football has gained experience at working not only with other people but, most importantly, themselves.

Consequently, these drills are designed specifically so that you can work on your own to reach your maximum.

Drill 1: Quick Cuts

One of the things that you cannot learn early on when playing is the Quick Cut, sometimes called a “chop”. When dribbling in a straight line in our drills mentioned in the previous article, you didn’t have much of a chance to do this.

What you need: In this drill, you don’t even need cones or any objects, but you can use them.

How to:

  1. Just pick some visual markers and dribble quickly with speed toward them.
  2. At the last second, decide to go right or left. If you have a partner, they can call out which way to go.
  3. Practice cutting around the corner quickly and sharply. You don’t want a wide turn as this is not going to work in a real game unless you are much quicker. But always assume and train for the best, not for your opponents!

Mix up the directions you go and also which feet you use. This will make you tough to beat on the field.

Even if you find yourself to be weak on your opposite foot, there is no excuse for you to be bad at dribbling with either of them as all it takes is practice. Practice — not power!

NOTE: You can even run from one side of the square to the other. You don’t have to keep a circular pattern; mix it up — just like in a game.

Drill 2: Ten Cones and a Player

This drill is going to seem confusing at first but, once you get the hang out of it, it’s quite useful.

The reason why it is so useful is because it actually treats you like you are playing a match against actual opponents that are numerous instead of dribbling against one man.

On the wing, you usually just have one guy to beat, but if you are a midfielder you might have to beat — or, at least, evade — one or two, maybe even three men with a dribble.

Here is how to set up your cones:
O O
O O O

O O

O O O

(__3 feet/meters______)

Much like dribbling cones or the above drill, you are going to alternate foot and inside/outside of the foot as you go.

But the basic premise is that each of those cones is three feet (meters) apart from each other, with the furthest one being about six feet away from the one across from it. This is simulating a tight space in a game.

How to:

  1. Take the ball through the middle of the two back cones.
  2. Go around the middle of the second line of cones.
  3. Circle back around the nearest cone and then repeat to the other side.

This is a drill that teaches you to quickly turn out of trouble without having to pass the soccer ball.

When you finish with one foot, switch and do the other. Then you can also go inside and outside with your feet, as well!

How to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills [Video]

To illustrate how some of the above drills are done and for more soccer dribbling drills, be sure to watch this short video.

1-on-1 situations: How to Get Better at Dribbling in Soccer

Working with and for others is very much ideal for you, and this is very much encouraged by me. One of the things that you can do is work literally with anyone.

Going back to what we said earlier, stay grounded.

Never overlook anyone, including much younger players.

Sometimes these kids are the best practice for you, because they will not quit until they win the ball! This will push you to be your best.

Get your little brother or sister as this will not only teach you this skill, but also patience and how to take a bit of a beating when dribbling while maintaining your feet and balance.

Quick Tips for Working with Others (Friends/Family/Teammates)

  1. Know where you want to go. Make the defender react, not the other way around.
  2. Be light on your feet, and stay on your toes. It’s much easier to go forward when you aren’t literally on your own back foot.
  3. Try to get your opponent off balance. To do this, feint a move one way and then go the other way. Or you can fake, fake, and then go. Or stop and go. Just do anything to throw them off your scent.
  4. If you see your opponent “stab”* get the ball around them quickly.
  5. If your opponent dives in, be strong. Let them slide and try to go around or over them if possible. Honesty pays off, remember that!

* “Stabbing” in soccer is when you or your opponent stick(s) his/her leg or hip to get the ball away from the player that is controlling or carrying it.

Conclusion

Learning how to get better at dribbling in soccer seems tough. But, in reality, dribbling is one of the simplest things to master for those that play the game.

As I have said time and time again, players at all ages should be able to be proficient technically.

No power is required to be a good dribbler, so everyone should be working to do the best job they can in order to help themselves and their team move up the ladder.

These drills and tips will help you do just that!

You got this!
–Coach Mike