Like any skill, practice makes perfect with dribbling. The more reps you perform to perfect your technique, the better you’ll be able to perform on the field. Over time, even the most complex moves will become second nature.

Here are five drills you should incorporate into your practices to become the best dribbler on the field.

1. Closed-Space Dribbling Drill

“So much of the game, you deal with being in a tight space, having to solve and get creative to figure out a way out,” says U.S. soccer star Tobin Heath. “This game just really helps you use all different surfaces of your feet.”

How to:

  • Place three cones on the ground in a triangle or line, spaced 2 feet apart.
  • Dribble the ball between the cones, using all surfaces of your feet.
  • Perform quick touches to guide the ball around the cones in a controlled pattern.

Sets/Duration: Perform daily for 10-15 minutes

2. Cone Drill

MLS forward C.J. Sapong performs this drill to hone his ability to trap the ball on the inside or outside of his foot and keep it away from defenders.

How to:

  • Line up six to 10 cones 5 yards apart.
  • Weave through the cones, dribbling the ball with the inside of your feet.
  • Repeat the drill alternating between the inside and outside of your feet, circling right and then left around each cone.

Sets/Reps: 1×2-3 each variation

3. Partner/Wall Drill

This drill helps Sapong control the ball when he receives a pass. It also reinforces his technique.

How to:

  • Have a partner toss a ball in the air or bounce it off a wall.
  • Pass back and forth 10-20 times, using the inside of your foot.
  • Repeat the pattern with your other foot.
  • Pass back and forth 10-20 times, using laces.
  • Repeat the pattern with your other foot.

4. Confined Dribbling

Inspired by a dribbling routine performed by the Los Angeles Galaxy, this drill helps you dribble fast and accurately in a tight space while avoiding a defender.

How to:

  • Set up four cones in a box 5 yards apart.
  • Stand in the box with a ball and a partner.
  • Dribble for the specified time while your partner tries to steal the ball.
  • If your partner steals the ball, switch roles.

Sets/Duration: 2-3×30-60 sec.

5. Doggies/25’s Dribbling

This variation of “Doggies” or “25’s”—a common soccer interval workout recommended by Valerie Prause, STACK Expert and former Division I soccer player—will improve your dribbling skills and conditioning at the same time.

  • Place five cones 5 yards apart in a straight line for 20 yards.
  • Starting at Cone 1, sprint with the ball to Cone 2.
  • Turn and sprint back to Cone 1, turn and sprint to Cone 3, back to Cone 1, and so on.
  • Once you have reached all four cones and are back at Cone 1, take a 55-second rest before starting the next set.
  • Repeat this until you complete 10 sets (five each with your right and left foot.)
  • Most players should be able to complete a set in 35 seconds without the ball. It will likely take you a bit longer with the ball.

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