Dribbling is the movement a player makes to prevent the opponent from stealing the ball, and it is also the technical skill a player possesses to get around a defender without losing control of the ball. This quality requires the imagination and personality of the player who performs it.

Improvisation is the basis of any dribble. It is only through observation that the dribbler will choose the most appropriate move to overcome his opponent. All this play happens in seconds, which is why the speed to deal with this type of action and come out successful is one of the dribbler’s skills.

Other qualities that dribblers possess are dexterity and change of pace, i.e. they know how to take advantage of any advantage to overtake an opponent or an entire line of opposing players. Even though there are players who are not very skilful with the ball, they are capable of performing this type of play with great determination and full confidence in their possibilities.

It is recommended to train the technique a lot with exercises like this one that we propose in this link.

The qualities of a good dribbler

  • The dribbler must possess perfect body control and good coordination, as well as mastering perfect ground support. His technical skills must be excellent in order to be able to overcome his opponents.
  • Good balance is essential. To achieve this, the player must keep his centre of gravity low. He must also be very observant, keeping under control at all times the situation of others on the pitch, whether they are his teammates or his opponents.
  • The ball must remain very close to the player at all times to avoid losing control of it. A good dribbler must anticipate his opponent’s movements by keeping a distance from him and watching his footwork. After he has dribbled past an opponent, he must know exactly what he is going to do next, i.e. he must be decisive.

Types of dribbling

  1. There are many types of dribbling, some of the best known are:
  • The classic dribble: this is the most traditional dribble and one of the most used by players. It consists of evading the opponent by deflecting the ball to one of the sides of the opponent.
  • The self-pass: this dribble is very effective and is used on the move. It consists of making a pass towards one of the opposing player’s sides, taking advantage of the fact that he is standing still. The player will remain pinned to the pitch while the dribbler takes advantage of this moment to run out the other side and regain possession of the ball.
  • The tunnel or the spout: this dribble is used to pass the ball through the opponent’s legs. It is usually carried out when the opponent is in a bad position and the dribbler sees that he has enough space to recover the ball.
    The brake: the player who controls the ball with great speed stops abruptly and changes direction.
  • The sombrero or vaselina: this is when the player in possession of the ball lifts the ball over the opponent to throw him off the ball and easily regain possession.
    The bicycle: this is a dribble used by Brazilian players. It consists of deceiving the defender by passing his legs over the ball until it goes out to one side.
  • The rainbow: this is when the player lifts the ball from behind with his heel and passes it over the opponent. The attacker will dribble past the defender while the ball is in the air.



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