Phenomenal dribblers are like escape artists: They get out of impossible binds and pull off amazing stunts that leave onlookers floored. Before the fancy tricks, though, you’ll need to ground yourself in the basics of ball control.
Step 1: Place ball in front of you Place the ball on the grass in front of you. Bear in mind that dribbling is simply the ability to move the ball at a reasonable pace while keeping it close and under control.
Step 2: Tap ball with inside of foot Square the inside of your foot to the direction you want to move, and tap the ball lightly with the inside of your foot in that direction.
Step 3: Follow and tap again Follow the ball closely, and again tap it lightly ahead of you.
TIP: Maintain a low center of gravity and keep the ball close so you can change direction, stop quickly, or change pace.
Step 4: Continue to tap & follow Continue tapping and following the ball down the field.
Step 5: Try using other foot Try using your other foot, too, remembering to square the inside of the dribbling foot in the direction you want the ball to move.
TIP: Look up, not at the ball, so you can see the field, your opponents, and your passing options.
Step 6: Practice ball control Practice your ball control by running a little faster and tapping the ball a little farther in front of you. Over time, you’ll become familiar with how hard you can tap the ball at varying speeds while still maintaining control.
Step 7: Set up obstacles If you have cones or other obstacles you can set up in the grass, try dribbling around them to simulate a game situation with opponents.
Step 8: Find opponent Look around for a flesh-and-blood opponent to try out your new skills on.
FACT: Major League Soccer debuted in 1993 but didn’t see mainstream appreciation until the 2002 season.