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Soccer Dribbling Moves

The Stop and Go

For this move - the key is a change of pace.  Jog slowly with the ball, usually done when a defender is along side of you, and then burst past the defender.  Again, jog nonchalantly along with the ball, stop for a second, and then burst past the defender.

You can also put the sole of your foot on top of the ball for a second when you stop the ball, and then push it forward with your instep when you break off on the dribble again to escape the defender.

The Cut Back (The Cruyff)

With the inside of the foot cut the ball back behind your body.  For example, when using your right foot to cut the ball back you plant your left foot to the side of the ball and then bring your right foot up to cut the ball back.  The reverse if you are cutting the ball back with your left foot.

This can often look like a fake shot.  Dribbling away from a defender into space you chop the ball back with the inside of the foot - then dribble off in that opposite direction.  Start by dribbling the ball forward and plant your left foot near the ball as your right leg "winds-up" for a big kick or shot. Instead of shooting however, bring the right foot down and "chop" the ball backwards and underneath your left leg.

The Fake Shot or Cross

Simply bringing the leg back like you are going to shoot can buy you time.  Bring the leg back as though you are going to make a pass or take a shot and then stop just in front of the ball - cut the ball to the left or right to set yourself up for your next play. 

For example, you could be dribbling fast down the left side with your left foot, your body between the defender and the ball, trying to sell the fact that you want to get an opening to cross the ball, and you would most likely look to swing in a cross with your left foot, but you instead fake the cross and cut the ball inside past the defender just when they’re trying to block or get a touch on the cross.  It’s a very subtle cut, all in one motion, bringing the leg back to cross but deftly cutting the ball inside.  If the cross or shot is not sold, you can then cut the ball back again to swing in the cross or take the shot.  Although don’t get caught up with doing too many moves, the goal is to get the ball in the box and get a scoring opportunity, so make that your main target.

The Step Over

Take your right foot over the ball and take the ball away with the outside of your left foot.  This move is often called the scissors.

Reverse Step Over

Bring the right foot up and around and over the ball and take the ball away with the outside of the right foot.  Again, accelerate after doing the move.

Double Step Over

If the defender doesn't go for the first step over it's time to try the double.  This time take your right foot over the ball and then swing your left foot over the ball as well and take the ball away with the outside of your right foot. 

Ronoldo and Robiniho, of Real Madrid and Brazil, are masters of this move – try to view a game of theirs to see this move done to perfection.  As with all moves, the key is the change of pace after you do the move, in this case bringing your leg over the ball.

Inside Outside

Fake like your going inside and then rush to the outside.  With the inside of your foot on the ball, carry the ball a few touches to the inside a few steps (leaning to the inside), almost teasing the defender, and when you think the defender is off balance or not ready, push the ball to the outside (with the outside of your foot).  You then have more space to cross the ball, or make a pass, or shoot.

Outside Inside

This time use the outside of your feet, this is usually more difficult because you don't have as much control with the outside of your feet, in terms of surface area, so make the dragging of the ball to the outside a little shorter in distance – not touching the ball to far away.  Same as the previous move, ‘inside outside’, but starting with the outside of your foot.

Dropping Your Shoulder

Dribble slowly at a defender and then feint with the shoulder, ducking or leaning your shoulder down a little bit one way and take off the other way. 

You want to try to get the defender on their heels, as though they’re going to fall down.  So, maybe dribble dead on at them at a pretty good pace, and then dip the shoulder one way and take off in the other direction, switching the ball to your other foot – the opposite direction to which you are faking with the shoulder.  Make sure to touch the ball with each step as you’re dribbling at the defender – keep the ball close to you.

Sole of the Foot Turn

Pull the ball back with the bottom of your shoe and burst away with a change of pace.


Lift the ball over the defender's foot. This is usually done while feinting one way and then scooping the ball the other way just over the defenders' planted foot.

After you lift the ball over the defenders foot make sure to take off with a burst of speed.  Often, you want to scoop or lift the ball over the defenders foot and to your other foot so your body will be between you and the defender after you make the move.  So you are dribbling with your right foot and scoop the ball over the defender's foot to your left foot or the other way around. 

This move is also usually done when you are in an almost standing position and the defender is rushing at you.  Essentially, you’re suckering the defender in and then lifting the ball over their foot as they came in towards you too fast, you then slip away by scooping the ball over their foot.

The Lean

Lean to one side dragging the ball along with you.  As if you are going to dart off with the ball.  When the defender doesn't expect it, take off in the opposite direction.

Sucker Them

Entice the defender to try to go for the ball by exposing the ball.  When the defender thinks he or she can steal it or he or she makes a move to go for the ball, you cut the ball away and take off.  Again, change of pace is the key when beating a defender on the dribble and with this move.

This is why, when training, you get a touch on the ball with every step you take when dribbling.  To maintain control of the ball and make those sharp cuts to the side or back, to entice, to elude, frustrate, and annoy defenders.  See more on this below.

Developing Skills

Get creative with your training methods:  As a kid, I would act like the weeds were defenders and dribble in and out of them in the yard or at the park, cutting back and forth as I dribbled, trying to avoid hitting the weeds with the ball.

Touch the Ball with Every Step

Touch the ball with each step you take. In very quick succession touch the ball a little bit ahead of you. This will create both good control and increase your dribbling speed.  Exaggerate this to start.

With this kind of control you can elude defenders when they try to steal the ball.  You can just cut the ball away since it is always close to you.  This will give you overall greater control when you are dribbling. It is almost like you are trying to get as many touches in as you can - as you dribble forward with the ball.

Change of Pace

Change of pace is the key to beating a player on the dribble. You don't necessarily need great speed to go by someone. You just need to "lull the defender to sleep" for a second, and then break past the opponent with a burst of speed.

Improving Your Weak Foot

The best advice is just to use it. Continue to strike the ball against a wall with your weak foot.  If you practice consistently slowly but surely you will see improvement.  Have patience.

There are always exceptions.  If you look at one of the best players in the world, the Brazilian midfielder 'Rivaldo', he mainly uses his left foot. Simply because his left foot is so incredible and he positions his body so well to protect the ball, he can get away with not using his right foot.  He is a gifted and unique exception.

Rivaldo possesses the most extraordinary (and expensive) left foot in the world. The latest in a long line of Brazilian magicians, the gangly, 6-foot-3-inch, 165-pound player offers a combination of speed, lethally precise shooting and creative dribbling.

Soccer deity and countryman Pele calls him the world's best. Barcelona fans don't disagree. "He's pure magic," says one, from the Canary Islands. "He can solve a bad game in one minute."

Rivaldo has led Barcelona to consecutive league titles and Brazil to America's Cup championships. Still, the forward is seen by some as a problem player, prioritizing his own performance above the team's, playing inconsistently and being polemic in salary negotiations. He has already expressed his yearning to leave Barcelona. Top European clubs are circling to snag him away.

A Few Quick Drills

A great drill is simply weaving in and out of a set of cones.  Make variations of the drill and put rules on yourself to make it more difficult.

Place about 10 cones in a line about three yards apart and dribble in and out of each cone without touching or knocking over the cones.  Try not to touch the ball too far away from the line of cones either – sharp turns when you are going back through the line.

After you have mastered this, you can then vary the way that you dribble through the cones.  Try dribbling with just the right foot and then just with the left foot, and then alternating feet, where you touch (pass) the ball to the left and then to the right as you weave through the cones.  Then try just with the inside of the feet, and so on.  Make up restrictions to put on yourself to try to improve a specific part of your dribbling technique.

Also, try combining a shooting or trapping drill with a dribbling drill.  Much like an obstacle course, have one line at the other end of the filed, a player posting up about thirty yards away, a series of cones to dribble through off to the side, and a player posting up at the top of the box. 

The player in line hits a long ball to the first player posting up, who lays the ball back to the player who then dribbles through the cones and plays a ball to the second player posting up, who then lays the ball back to the player for a shot on goal.  The same going the other direction to the other goal.  You’ll need two keepers and a whole field, but not a bad drill where you can combine a number of different skills.  Make sure to rotate each position.

A key with any practice is to keep it flowing and not have a lot of stops and starts and too many people standing in line.  You don’t want players to get warmed up and then get cold and bored waiting in line.  So make sure you plan out a good practice and make adjustments when needed.  Move into each new drill without a lot of standing around and waiting.

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