Summary: Agility is a crucial component when it comes to dribbling. You won’t be able to get past a defender if you aren’t comfortable with the feel of the ball.
Skillful dribbling is a dangerous weapon to have in your arsenal. In order to maintain the advantage over your opponent, you’ll need to use both wit and guise to bypass the toughest defense so you can either set up your teammate for the shot or go all in and nail the game winner.
There are numerous aspects of dribbling to work on like handling a ball in tight space, moving with the ball at a high speed, and outmaneuvering a defender. All of these play a significant role in your overall dribbling skill.
Here are some drills that you can use to take your dribbling to the next level.
Dance With the Ball
The better you are at using every part of the foot to dribble the ball, the more control you’ll have come game time. “Dancing” with the ball consists of touching the top of the ball with the bottom of your feet while alternating from left to right. Try and develop a rhythm as you go along. While you might start off slow and a bit clunky, over time you’ll start getting a natural feel for it and your muscle memory will kick in. This drill helps players maneuver the ball wherever they like and set themselves up for an accurate pass or shot. Additionally, the better feel you have for the ball, the more control you get in the process.
Nimble dribbling can confuse and break down defenders trying to steal the ball away from you. Pair up with another partner and dribble between six to eight cones spread about two feet apart from each other. After zigzagging your way between each cone, swiftly pass the ball to your partner and have him or her perform the same feat. Start slow and work on the basic mechanics of maneuvering around each cone cleanly. After a while, you’ll start to develop a more agile cut and it’ll almost become second nature to you. During game time, you’ll need supreme agility to bring the ball up and around each defender. Additionally, you’ll be able to compliment your passing skills with this drill as well. You can also take this drill to next level by adding a point system. For even cone that’s knocked down, you subtract a point from an overall score. Score one point for each successful run until you reach a total of 20. It might seem frustrating at first, but it’ll undoubtedly take your game to the next level.
One of the most difficult things to do in the game is to hold on to the ball while a defender aggressively tries to steal it from you. If you’re struggling to keep possession of the ball, take a partner and set up a small game of keep-away. Create a 20-yard grid and have your partner tightly defend you as you try to bypass him or her. If your partner manages to steal the ball away from you, switch roles and become the defender. If you can, have a third person call out any illegal moves that may result in a penalty. After all, this isn’t a free-for-all. In a real game, you’re likely to get whistled if you carelessly tackle.
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