Tuesday May 17 2016
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Creative dribbling to beat an opponent

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Dribbling is just about any move through which you take the ball past your opponent. There are a variety of skills that can help players become good dribblers.

Practice passing and ball juggling with both feet. This will help you switch the ball from foot to foot in game situations. Practice moving the ball as quickly as possible. Try weaving between a line of objects (cones, etc.) using alternative feet in practice.

Learn to use the different surfaces of your feet to control the ball: instep, outside and heel or sole. Pass the ball repeatedly between your insteps with the ball slightly in front, level and slightly behind them; this will allow you to become comfortable with the ball wherever it is.

Stress agility and balance. Good balance when dribbling allows players to have control of their body as well as the ball. Players must look ahead to see what’s going on in front of them – but not have their head so far up that they cannot see the ball at their feet. Focus far enough in front to have good peripheral vision and see the ball.

Change of pace is key to going by a player on the dribble. You don't necessarily need to be extremely fast to go by someone. You just need to kind of lull the defender to sleep for a second and then break past the opponent with a burst of speed.

Often, creativity can be the key to being a successful ball-handler. Try to fool the defender – work on fakes and change of direction to beat the opponent. Use deception to set the defender up. Move your body to go one way, then quickly change direction and go another way. Slip the ball between your opponents’ legs when he or she expects you to go around. Swing your leg around the ball; this can confuse opponents and upset their balance.

Recognize that there is space behind the defender. After getting past the defender, players will need a burst of acceleration to create space between themselves and the defender. Practicing repeated short sprints is a great way to improve speed in short bursts.