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Free Soccer Drills – Use Open Field Dribbling to Build a Solid Skill Foundation

Free Soccer Drills – Use Open Field Dribbling to Build a Solid Skill Foundation

Open field dribbling is used when a player wants to advance the ball up field as fast as possible, or strategically move to a more advantageous position before the opposing team can close them off. This is different from the elusive type of dribbling where a player is trying to elude opponents or trying to create space to pass or shoot. The drills used to develop open field dribbling are different and should be practiced in addition to elusive types of dribbling practice. Here is a drill that will help develop both open field dribbling, the ability to chase down opponents, and the players fitness levels.

Open Field dribbling – Circle Dribble

Divide the team into two with equal numbers on both teams. Give each player on each team a number so you have two opposing numbers (1,1,2,2 etc.). Have the teams make a circle so the opposing numbered players are directly across from one another. Choose one team that will have the ball, and the other will be the chase team. The coach will randomly call out numbers, and when the players’ number is called the team with the ball must dribble around the circle and back to their spot before the chase player can catch them. A point is given to the successful team whether chasing or dribbling. Once all numbers have been called, the team with the ball and the chase team change rolls and the game is repeated. The winning team is the one with the most points after both sides have had a chance to chase and dribble. 

This drill will teach players to dribble with speed while someone chasing them down, and will encourage players to pursue opponents when they have the ball. Developing a comfort level for open field dribbling and advancing the ball to strategic locations while to other team is chasing you is an important foundational skill needed for playing the game at higher levels. 

This type of dribbling requires players to push the ball forward enough to get several strides in between touches. Practicing drills specifically designed to work on dribbling while running will develop the touch and fitness required to master in this fundamental soccer skill. A solid foundation in open field dribbling will be required to move to higher levels of soccer, and is a skill that can be taught at the youngest ages of soccer development.

For more information on drills and games used to bring your players to the next level, checkout the soccer coaches resource center. In the resource center you will find articles, books, DVD’s, coaching supplies, coaches gifts, and reviews of the top coaching resources on the market. The site was designed as a one stop shop, and will provide a better idea of the types of products available to make your coaching experience successful. If you are new to coaching or want to see some of the products that could take your coaching to the next level, please check out the youth coaches resource center. Youth Soccer Coaching Resource Center

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