1 v 1 Dribbling Exercises

The idea behind these 4 exercises is to teach the players that beating opponents is all about change of speed and changes of direction with the ball. In addition players must be aware of their surroundings and have their head up scanning the field all the time.

Shadow Man. Players are in twos. 

  • Player in the front has the ball and dribbles around in an area trying to get away from the chaser who is following from behind without a ball. When the coach blows the whistle both players stop. If the player behind can touch the lead player the lead player does 5 jumping jacks or vice versa.
  • Second scenario is that the player at the back has the ball and must follow the lead player while dribbling the ball.  When the coach blows the whistle both players stop. If the player behind can touch the lead player the lead player does 5 jumping jacks or vice versa.
  • Third scenario involves “both” players having a ball and the one behind has to shadow the lead player. When the coach blows the whistle both players stop. If the player behind can touch the lead player the lead player does 5 jumping jacks or vice versa.

Nutmegs.

Red players are standing with a wide stance or a narrow stance without a ball. Blue players have a ball and dribble around and between the red players. Coach counts by 10’s. Every time the coach gets to a 10 the red players either widen their stance or narrow their stance. Blue players keep track of how many nutmegs they get total.

  • When they get to a red player with a narrow stance they pass the ball one way and run around the red player the other way.
  • When they get to a red player with a wide stance they play the ball between the red player’s legs and retrieve the ball on the other side. This is called “nutmegging” an opponent.

Faking The Mannequin

  • Player begins behind cone. A ball is placed at a diagonal to the mannequins right shoulder about 3 paces in front of the mannequin. On the coaches command the players slowly jog up to the ball. When they get to the ball they fake as if they are going to take the ball past the mannequins right shoulder ( as the mannequin is facing the player) but change direction and speed and take the ball past the mannequins left shoulder.  See diagram.
  • Player begins behind cone – this time with ball at feet.  A cone is placed at a diagonal to the mannequins right shoulder about 3 paces in front of the mannequin. On the coaches command the players slowly dribble the ball up to the cone.  When they get to the cone they fake as if they are going to take the ball past the mannequins right shoulder but change direction and speed and take the ball past the mannequins left shoulder.

Maestro in the Middle

In this set of exercises we are, mostly, working with the middle player. To begin the exercises have three players in a straight line so that they are sideways on to each other. In other words they would swivel their head to be able to see both partners. Maybe 10 yards from each other. The idea is for the middle player to ALWAYS be on an imaginary line which connects the two outside players as the two outside players move around. The space between the 2 outside players should never be more than 20 yards.

  • Player in the middle has the ball and must dribble the ball and stay on the imaginary line between the two outside players. Maestro in The Middle will have to maneuver ball and be aware of the movement of the outside players at the same time.
  • Players on the outside have the balls and must dribble coordinating with each other and aware of their distance apart. Maestro in The Middle is without a ball but must stay on the imaginary line between the 2 outside players all the time.
  • All three players have a ball and must coordinate their movements and player awareness while dribbling the soccer ball.