February 3, 2023
3 Drills to Improve Your 1v1 Dribbling Skills
Soccer is a fast-paced game that requires quick decision-making. When a player has the ball, they have two options for maintaining possession. They can either pass the ball or dribble. Passing is always the quickest way out of pressure and the best way to unbalance the opponent. But there will be times when dribbling is the better option.
To become an effective and dangerous dribbler, a player must first understand when they should dribble. The simplest understanding of this is knowing where there is time and space on the field.
When midfielders and forwards receive the ball, they are often in a 1v1 scenario. This means they have to beat a defender by either dribbling or passing to a teammate. Players who can dominate 1v1 scenarios are dangerous because they have a better chance of helping their team offensively.
Developing and mastering one or two simple skill moves is all you need to beat players 1v1. Many players make the mistake of trying to learn too many fancy or creative moves that are too difficult to replicate in games. This ends up hurting them rather than helping them.
Keep your dribbling as simple as possible. Over-complicating skill moves is the easiest way to lose the ball for your team.
Blayze professional soccer coach, Mike Semenza, lists out his three favorite 1v1 skill moves for you. Get started on these today! The sooner you can master these and add them to your game, the more confident and dangerous you will be on the field.
Remember, these skill moves may not work 100% of the time. But, if you can beat a defender at least 50% of the time, you will create more dangerous opportunities for your team.
This is the most simple and effective skill move for changing the direction of your dribble. Keep it simple and focus on using your body to fake a pass or shot before using the sole or bottom of your foot to roll the ball sideways into a new dribbling lane. Immediately accelerate to lose the defender. Practice this between two cones so you know you are moving far enough to the side to shake off the defender. Work on keeping your eyes up.
This move is simple and effective. Dribble straight at the defender and step over the ball to make it look like you are about to sprint that way before pushing the ball to the opposite side and accelerating away. Remember to drop your shoulder low to the ground as you step over the ball so that you can have a strong push to the opposite side of the defender.
This is a more challenging skill move that requires timing and coordination. Once you master it, defenders will have a nightmare trying to defend this. As you approach the cones, take a mini hop into the air, chop the ball behind one leg sideways into a new dribbling lane and immediately accelerate. Remember that your plant foot needs to be in front of the ball so that it can pass behind your leg and across the defender. This makes it almost impossible for them to knock the ball away from you without committing a foul.
The secret to mastering any skill is practice! Are you looking to become a stronger player? Could you use direct feedback from a professional coach on how to improve your passing skills, communication, or vision on the field?
At Blayze we give you personalized video analysis coaching sessions and individual training programs, plus mentorship from professional coaches.
Our Blayze+ program breaks down the barriers to finding elite-level training by making top-tier coaches available for ALL athletes. Custom-developed coaching sessions can help you improve your on-field skills, so you are performing at your very best. For a truly unique and personalized feedback experience, click HERE to learn more about the Blayze+ program!
About the coach
Get free coaching tips from our team of coaches every week when signing up for our newsletter here.