What Is dribbling In Soccer?

Dribbling is one of the basic skills every soccer player must master. In this post, we are going to discuss dribbling in soccer and why your kid should start working on it.

The truth is if your kid does not know how to dribble, the chances are he will spend more time on the bench than on the field.

Or, he or she cannot even make it on a tryout.

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In Soccer, dribbling is the ability to control the ball with the left and right feet, when running, turning, and maneuvering around the opponent until it is successfully passed to another teammate, or shot at the goal.

Dribbling involves using the outside, inside, sole, and laces of the feet to move the ball on the field.

By using the body for balance and feigning movement, a player can outmaneuver the opponent.

Yes, Messi is one of the best dribblers in soccer.

Messi dribbling ther ball past two defenders
Messi dribbling the ball past two players

Importance Of Dribbling

Dribbling is important for moving the ball for the following reasons:

  • Allow time for teammates to find spaces before you pass to them
  • During a 1V1 situation when trying to go past the opponent
  • Can be used as a tactic to pull defenders from their positions leaving their goal unguarded
  • Ball possession. When the opponent does not have the ball, they cannot score, right?

How To Learn Dribbling Skills

Dribbling is a learnable skill that every soccer player can acquire, provided that they are committed.

The 1000 soccer touches concept believes that a player can learn faster if they have more touches with the ball.

Here are 5 ways you can learn to dribble better:

  1. Practice dribbling drills
  2. Practice speed and agility drills
  3. Learn how to kick the ball
  4. Watch videos
  5. Scrimmage
A boy in a 1V1 situation
A boy in a 1V1 situation


1. Practice Dribbling Drills

By practicing dribbling drills you will become more familiarized with the feet, legs, and body movements.

It’s called muscle memory, the more you do the drills and make more touches on the ball your body will finally memorize the movement.

Your feet become quicker, and you do more sets, making better-calculated kicks, and more balanced, and as time goes you become better at dribbling.

One important thing you must remember is to do the drills properly, and execute the proper technique as described in the drills.

Otherwise, you may risk developing a bad dribbling habit that will be hard to break as you grow older.

Here are some dribbling drills you can start using – some are for very young kids while others are for older kids:

  1. 5 Soccer Dribbling Drills With Cones For U10
  2. 5 Basic Kids Soccer Drills
  3. 12 Simple Soccer Drills For 4 – 7-Year-Olds
  4. 10 Incredibly Simple Soccer Drills For Toddlers

Here is a drill for practicing the weak foot so that it can be just as strong as your strong foot:

  1. 5 Tips On How To Improve Your Weak Foot In Soccer (Plus Drills)

2. Practice Speed And Agility Drills

Speed and agility play a huge part in dribbling.

In soccer, players don’t run the whole length of the game but they make short bursts of sprints, turn around, and stop.

That is when speed becomes useful to outrun the opponent, get the ball, and pass to the next teammate.

Agility makes the player’s movement more fluid which helps in the twists and turns when dribbling.

Here are 2 speed and agility drills you can start practicing:

  1. 5 Basic Speed And Agility Drills With Ladder
  2. 4 Basic Soccer Speed And Agility Cone Drills
Maradona running and about to pass the ball
Maradona (in blue jersey) running and about to pass the ball


3. Learn How To Kick The Ball

A skillful player must know which part of the foot to use when dribbling.

The outside of the foot is used when dribbling to go outside an obstacle or an opponent.

This makes the player switch directions away from the opponent

The inside of the foot is used for switching the ball across the body, most useful when trying to cut in between 2 opponents.

When passing the ball to a teammate, the inside foot is the most accurate.

The lace of the foot is used when pushing the ball forward during dribbling to gain ground.

Kicking with the lace produces powerful strikes that can be unstoppable in the goal.

The sole of the foot is used mostly to stop the ball either during dribbling or when a low ball is passed to you.

A boy using the sole of the foot
A boy using the sole of the foot

The heel is not used often but that doesn’t mean it’s rare, it has its place in soccer dribbling.

Backheel is when the ball is passed or kicked with the heel, some spectacular scores were scored using the backheel pass.

The toe is less used but they are useful when stretching to move the ball forward before the opponent gets to it.

The term toe-poke describes just that, a player pokes the ball with the toe in a tight space when other types of passing become impossible.

However, young kids should not be encouraged to kick with the toes before it can cause injury.

In my post How To Kick A Soccer Ball + Beginners Drills & Bonus Tips, I described how to use the various parts of the foot for dribbling.

4. Watch Videos 

Watch a soccer video online and observe how the players dribble the ball and which part of the foot they are using.

A beginner can learn a lot just by watching others play soccer.

5. Scrimmage

Scrimmage gives the player real situations that can not be described in writing or video or experienced when practicing drills alone.

When facing opponents in scrimmage you will be under pressure from opponents as they try to take away the ball from you.

A boy plays soccer with parents
A boy plays soccer with his parents

This will force you to be defensive and try to dribble the ball at the same time.

As you play more often in scrimmages you will build your confidence level and your dribbling skills will gradually improve.

Ask your parents and siblings for a game of soccer in the backyard to get a feel of when to dribble, when to pass, and when to kick the ball.


Cons Of Dribbling

Unless you are Messi, Pele, or Maradona, the chances of dribbling past every opponent on the field are not realistic.

Pele dribbling past a defender
Pele dribbling past a defender

Soccer is a team sport that requires every teammate to play as a team in order to score goals and win.

However, some players can develop the bad habit of dribbling too much and lost the ball, leaving teammates and the coach upset.

The cost to the team of such a habit is that the players will have to defend and repossess the ball, or a goal is scored against your team.

Such a player is a liability to the team and the coach may not allow him or her to play.


Dribbling is an important skill that all soccer players must master and use to contribute to the success of the team.

It is recommended that dribbling skills are developed at a young age so that it lays a foundation for a successful soccer career.

The truth is, coaches and scouts will check your kid’s dribbling skills during tryouts and your kid must be prepared.

On the other hand, too much dribbling is not a good habit and will be a disadvantage if your kid wants to be selected.

This website offers a lot of dribbling drills your kid can start with at home, in your backyard, or anywhere with space.

Check out my drills page.

Be safe and enjoy soccer.



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