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SESSION

Dribbling session: making your moves

Andy Somers, The FA’s national coach development lead, shares a session that helps players learn to move with the ball.  
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Session plan

Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go.

 

Organisation 

Set up a rectangular area in the centre of your pitch and add two end zones. Assign four players to this space to create a 2v2 practice (with either side defending an end zone).  

For large groups, set up multiple areas – each containing a 2v2.  

This session is suitable for all ages and stages. You can adjust it to meet the needs of your team. 

 

How to play

The aim of this game is for pairs to move the ball down the pitch and into their opponents’ end zone. If they manage to do this, they score one point. 

Each side starts in their own end zone. To initiate kick-off, give one of the pairs the ball and tell them to begin their attack.  

As this team moves forward, the other side must try to win the ball back. If they do, play switches and the defenders become the attackers.  

If either team scores, the game restarts with the other side in possession.  

2v2s are great for moving with the ball sessions. They reduce the opportunity to pass, and they help players get comfortable in 1v1s and 2v1s.

 

Progression

If your players master this activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. Here are some examples.  

  • Remove the end zones and replace them with a line. By challenging players to stop on this narrow target, you help them to practise controlling the ball. 
  • Reduce the size of your area. This gives players less space to move around and encourages close-controlled dribbling. 
  • Increase the size of your area. This gives players more room to move around and allows the opportunity to run the ball into space.
  • Add goals. This allows you to integrate keepers. It also means players can practice their pre-finish decision-making while moving with the ball.  

Remember, learning takes time. So don’t alter things too quickly or too much. Using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002) can help keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.  

Want more info on this session? Watch our tactics board explainer on YouTube. 
 
Once you've put this session into practice, share your experience on the England Football Community.