Dribble (Soccer)

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Dribbling the ball requires controlling the ball while moving with it. This skill can be introduced in Kindergarten/Pre-school as it will help children develop their ball tracking skills as they tap the ball and run after it. Often at this age they will end up chasing the ball rather than dribbling it. By the age of 10 years children should have mastered all components of this skill.

Teaching tips

Use these teaching cues to assist your child with soccer dribbling;

  1. Keep the ball close like it is attached to your foot with a piece of string
  2. Small, soft taps of the ball
  3. Use both feet and all parts of your foot
Developing Dribble (Soccer) through play

Children as young as 18 months are able to kick a ball around. Encourage active play by providing your child with opportunities to explore this skill;

  • Use a brightly coloured, light and large ball
  • Participate in play with your child

Introduce your child to controlled soccer dribbling by presenting opportunities in low pressure environments;

  • Play games such as Musical Soccer and Traffic Lights with each child having a ball, use commands such as dribble forward, stop the ball, walk around in a circle, dribble and knock over a cone, dribble with both feet
  • Use medium, soft balls as they are easier to control
  • Try at a walking pace to begin with

With the basics under their belt, use the teaching cues to assist children with keeping the ball close and in control.

  • Focus on moving the ball from one foot to the other with small, soft taps
  • Ask children the different parts of the foot they can dribble with

As your child begins to develop control while dribbling, challenge them by;

  • Setting up obstacle courses to dribble around
  • Practice dribbling while looking ahead at a target
  • Speeding up and dribbling at a fast walk, then jog, then run – all whilst still in control
  • Encouraging them to use the inside and outside of foot

Step up their dribbling skills and combine this with other Fundamental Movement Skills, such as running and dodging as you;

Common errors
  • Kicks the ball far away
  • Only uses one foot
  • Looks down at the ball
  • Unable to control the ball

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