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Dribble or run with the ball?

Exercise description: 

Area: 20 x 20 with two goals and goalkeepers. Three defenders. All other players (white) have a ball each and are spread out equally on opposite corners.

1. The coach sends one purple defender to the middle cone while the other two rest by the coach.

2. Coach calls go! Two outside players go towards the goal they are facing, as shown.

3. The defender chooses which attacker they want to tackle.
4. One attacker has to dribble around the defender while the other player can run with the ball to the goal.

5. Can the defender tackle both players?
6. When the exercise is over the coach puts in a new defender and shouts GO!
Coaching points:

Opposed you will dribble (more touches) Unopposed you will run with the ball (fewer touches)


Intended outcome:

  • To help the players understand the difference between dribbling and running with the ball.

  • To have fun.

  • To compete.

  • To make decisions.

  • To score goals.


You can have the defender start by the coach. If the defender wins the ball, they can score on the opposite goal.

Possible Performance Problems:

The defender takes their time deciding whom to defend against.

The player running with the ball takes too many touches.

Be ready to focus

Keep scanning the area and visualize playing in a game.

Accept mistakes

Coach your teammates


Applaud good play

Have fun

Be ready to pass or receive the ball


Be willing to move. Dribble and run at pace

Decision making

Dribble the ball close until you need to explode

Be brave and place your shot

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