4 Drills to Improve Dribbling


The Game

The purpose of this activity is to improve the dribbling skills of young players aged 6-10.

Divide players into groups of three or four. Have them stand in line, forming a "snake." The middle player starts with the ball.

The middle player (Player B) must try to follow the first person, or "head" of the snake (Player A) while dribbling. The third player (Player C) follows the second player and so on. From front-to-back, the players should be arranged as follows:

Player A (head of snake), Player B (Dribbles ball), Player C (follows dribbler)

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On command, the middle player becomes the new head of the snake, while the old head of the snake goes to the end of the line and player C now has ball in middle. Now the players will be arranged as follows:

Player B (head of snake), Player C (Dribbles ball), Player A (follows dribbler)

Play continues as long as players are benefiting from the activity. It is best to use this activity as a warm up. No score is kept, as players are concentrating solely on their technique.

The game is played in a grid that varies depending on the needs of the players. Make the grid smaller to make it more difficult for the players. Make it larger if the players are finding it difficult to achieve success. The coach must experiment with the size and find what works best for his or her team.

Coaching Points

  • Head of snake should move at different speeds, including stopping.
  • Encourage moving in many different directions.
  • Middle player must keep eyes up to see the head of the snake.
  • Encourage use of many different surfaces of feet in contact with ball.
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The Game

Each player has a ball except the player designated as the light. Lines from start to finish should be approximately 20-30 yards. Players start on the line opposite the light. The player who is the light faces away from the group and calls out "green light." Players begin to dribble to the light. When the light turns around and calls out "red light," players must freeze their bodies and the ball.

If the light catches players still moving, or dribbling, he sends them back to the starting line. The first player to cross the line where the light is standing is the winner and becomes the new light.

Pill Red Green

Coaching Points

  • Encourage players to dribble under close control.
  • This drill promotes quick reactions and dynamic balance.

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The Game

A regular even-sided scrimmage. However, since the object of the game is to encourage and increase the amount of dribbling going on, six small "cone goals" have been set up around the field.

  • Each time a player dribbles through one of the goals, it counts as a point.
  • Goals scored on the big goals count as well.
  • Play with two or three balls to increase the amount of repetitions even further.
Team Dribbling

Coaching Points

  • Here, players now have to make the decision of when to dribble. At first they will dribble all of the time, even if it means going into pressure. So, helping them to see where the open field is helps their development.
  • Use the outside of the foot, or the laces for 'speed' dribbling.
  • Change of pace, change of direction to keep the defenders unbalanced.

This game is especially appropriate for U-8 through U-12 players.

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The Game

Players try to dribble their ball without being tagged. If they get tagged, they exchange places with the "tagger." Have taggers carry a pinnie to distinguish themselves. Hand pinnies over to the player that is tagged and use their ball to dribble.

Players are saved in any one of the 4 bases. Only one player allowed in a base at one time. If a new player enters a base, the old player must leave.

Running Bases


For younger players:

  • Only one tagger
  • Fewer bases
  • Only one player in a base at a time

For older players:

  • More bases and taggers.
  • Two players allowed in each base.
  • Play with fewer balls: can only be tagged if you have the ball. Or, if you don't have a ball (balls must be passed.)

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