What does ball defense mean

Dribbling properly? That has to be learned!

... and yet dribbling should be practiced and trained with every player. Dribbling is one of the most demanding forms of movement in all ball sports. Especially in football, dribbling is a great challenge for many players. Although this technique is one of the most important basic game mechanics, beginners and amateur players in particular always have problems with correctly performing this technique. In the following article you will learn how dribbling is exactly defined, what advantages and disadvantages it has and what you as a football coach should pay particular attention to when training.

How do you define dribbling?

Dribbling is a type of locomotion that is used in numerous ball sports. Basically, this term is understood to mean any movement of the player that takes place together with the ball. In football, this involves continuously hitting the ball in order to move it in the desired direction. The player follows the ball in order to always remain in possession of the ball. In professional dribbling, particular emphasis is placed on gently playing the ball. The ball must always stay as close as possible to the player in order to avoid an opponent capturing the ball as much as possible. In addition, this form of dribbling is also used to defend the ball and for strategic attacks.

Benefits of dribbling

A basic distinction is made between three forms of dribbling. Each of these forms has its own advantages that the player can take advantage of during the game. These are tempo dribbling, ball-holding dribbling and dribbling overcoming the opponent. The tempo dribbling serves to overcome a large, unoccupied space. This form of dribbling is particularly characterized by the fact that the ball is hit very hard. Due to the lack of pressure from the opponent, it is possible to carry the ball very far forward and thereby leave the opponent's defense behind. As a result of this procedure, fewer contacts with the ball are necessary to overcome a certain distance and the player can thus achieve a significantly higher speed of movement.

When dribbling with the ball, the ball is secured in certain situations in order to gain valuable time. Often the application of this technique is paraphrased as "assertion". A professional footballer claims the ball when it is not possible to pass it in the present situation and a shot on goal is also not an option. This creates new pass options as the footballer's teammates are given enough time to move into playable positions. In this way an outnumber situation can be created.

Special advantage

The great advantage of this technique is that the opponent is given few opportunities to gain possession of the ball, as the player performing the ball is as close as possible to his foot. In this way, the performing player can react optimally to all movements of the opposing player and thereby achieve the best possible control over the ball. In addition, the player remains particularly flexible with this technique and can also switch to a wide ball control if the opponent is in the back of the performing player and this form of dribbling does not entail an increased risk of losing the ball.


Dribbling overcoming opponents, on the other hand, is a duel technique. Here, the player in possession of the ball will dribble the ball head-on towards an opponent. He guides the ball as close as possible to his own foot in order to keep the speed of action increased. The high number of contacts offers the player the opportunity to control the ball optimally and to overcome the opponent quickly. After the opposing player has been overcome, the player in possession of the ball can move on to a long game and thereby pick up speed again.

Disadvantages of dribbling?

However, dribbling not only has numerous advantages, but can also lead to serious disadvantages if performed incorrectly. Due to the different techniques involved in dribbling, there is a high risk that the player in possession of the ball will make a misjudgment. If the player changes to tempo dribbling too early, there is an increased risk of losing the ball. In addition, the other techniques can also lead to a negative result if the game is too cocky.

Dribbling overcoming opponents, for example, is an effective duel technique. As such, however, it also has the risk of losing the ball if the opposing player wins the duel. For this reason, especially inexperienced players should be careful with dribbling. Ultimately, dribbling while holding the ball can also lead to a disadvantageous situation. This technique slows down the game and allows both your own team and the opposing team to re-form. In this way, it is not only your own team that is given the opportunity to move into playable positions. The opposing team also has the opportunity to prepare an attack and gain possession of the ball.

What basics do good dribblers bring with them?

Dribbling is an effective technique that still requires a great deal of practice. In particular, some essential basics are required in order to be able to carry out these techniques properly. One of the most important foundations of dribbling is keeping the ball close. This is essential in order to be able to behave correctly in difficult situations. In order to improve their own dribbling skills, players should therefore always practice close control of the ball and keep reducing the average distance to the ball. In addition, the speed of departure is also of decisive importance. This is the speed at which a player can overcome the first five to ten meters after coming to a standstill. This speed has a major impact on the duel and thus on the dribbling overcoming the opponent.

A good dribbler must always be able to take advantage of an opportunity and pick up speed after the opposing player has positioned himself incorrectly. For this reason, in addition to speed, a good change of pace is also of great importance. Here, not only is the change from low speed to high speed advantageous, but also changing from high speed to lower speed. After a player gets into a situation in which ongoing tempo dribbling is no longer appropriate, he must be able to reduce the speed as quickly as possible and move into a defending position. Therefore, an excellent feel for the ball is ultimately also of crucial importance. Just like all other professional players, a good dribbler is characterized by a first-class feel for the ball.

What should I pay particular attention to when practicing dribbling?

When training dribbles, the coach should make sure that all players work at maximum speed. The faster the players can dribble, the greater the advantage in the next game. Despite the high speed, a clean technical implementation should always be the focus of the trainer. The reason for this is that if the technical execution is inadequate, mistakes can easily occur and the dribbling takes on a random component. In order to be able to derive maximum benefit from this technology, it must be mastered without errors and can be carried out optimally at any time. In addition, on the field, players never have a choice which leg to dribble with. In the heat of the moment, players must be able to perform at their best with both legs and should therefore always train with both feet.

At what age should you put a lot of emphasis on dribbling and why?

Especially in children's and youth football, the coach should attach great importance to dribbling training. At this age, fine motor skills develop in addition to gross motor skills, so that children can make great progress within a very short time. Dribbling is a technically demanding technique that should be learned as early as possible. In addition, this technique is one of the basic skills of every professional player. In order to optimally promote the potential of young footballers, dribbling should therefore always be the basis of every training session.

How do I introduce youth players to dribbling?

One of the biggest challenges is getting the young players to dribble properly. This is an extremely practical and essential technique, but especially at the beginning, dribbling training can be extremely tiring and unpleasant for many young players. Youth players usually prefer more practical training and shy away from the essential basic exercises. Nevertheless, it is extremely important for the development of young talents to start comprehensive training at an early stage. Dribbling can be encouraged in different ways. In practice, a reward system has proven to be extremely effective. Youth players in particular have enormous ambition and a pronounced competitive spirit. Therefore, many youth players can be effectively encouraged to practice this technique more effectively through an internal team ranking of the best dribblers.

Should I encourage dribbling or sanction it with penalties and when should I intervene?

Numerous experts have different views on whether the trainer should focus more on promoting good dribbling or punishing bad dribbling. Both methods can have a great effect, especially with youth players. Hardly any player likes to be punished. Because of this, when the coach imposes severe penalties for poor execution, players have great incentive to learn to dribble. On the other hand, youth players in particular are very fickle and can quickly lose interest in football. This often creates resentment in the team, which can affect the performance of each individual team member.

In any case, the coach should refrain from intervening during a game. In the game, the players show what they have learned in training and always pursue the goal of winning the game. If a coach sanctions a team member during the game and risks defeat as a result, this seriously shakes both team spirit and trust in the coach. Only the training is intended to improve the playing style and technique of the players and should therefore be used for sanctions or promotions.

The best dribblers in the world

Footballers are characterized by numerous different skills and achievements. It is not surprising that some players have made a name for themselves in football, especially through outstanding dribbling. Some of the best dribblers in the world are also among the top footballers in the world. Among other things, Arjen Robben in particular distinguished himself with outstanding technique on the field. As you can see in the video linked above, this player has an enormous talent. Both the unique technique and the enormous precision of his dribbling can only be surpassed by a few players.

In addition, the two players Paulo Dybala and Eden Hazard also attracted attention with their outstanding skills. Both are said to have tremendous talent in dribbling. When mentioning the best dribblers in the world, Christiano Ronaldo should of course not be missing. For a long time this player was considered the best dribbler in the world. In particular, the video of his skills, which was also inserted above, achieved an unparalleled reach on the Internet. In addition to Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., only Lionel Messi was able to outbid this enormous performance. Messi is currently considered the best dribbler in the world and inspires countless people with his talent every year. Among other things, this gifted player is referred to as the master of dribbling.

How do I defend players who are dribbling?

As soon as a player starts dribbling, the entire team should pay increased attention. Dribbling poses an enormous risk even for experienced players and must therefore be defended by all other players. As soon as an advantageous situation for a dribbling maneuver presents itself, the entire team must expect the player in possession of the ball to start dribbling. Then there is always the risk that the player performing the game will lose the ball and the opposing team will gain possession of the ball. The entire team should be prepared for this situation. The expectation that the ball can be lost at any time enables the teammates to perform excellently in defense of the dribbling player.

Dribbling - one of the most important basics of football

Although dribbling always involves a high level of risk, it is still one of the basic techniques of football. A player can only achieve his full potential if he has mastered this elementary technique of this sport. This requires years of training, which should be started as early as possible. Every year gifted footballers show again and again what enormous effect a technically masterful dribbling can achieve. For this reason, every trainer should start the scheduled training of this essential technique at an early stage.

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