Use your soccer dribbling skills in the right situations
Dribbling is not about cool soccer moves and you should never use this skill just to increase your personal glory; instead, use it to your team's advantage. Never dribble if you have an unmarked teammate near you. Passing the ball safely to a near teammate is more effective then a dribbling solo raid. The optimal rule is to never dribble in your own half. However, you should try to dribble often in your opponent’s 18 yard box
The advantage with dribbling is that your opponents will not know what you aim to do next. To stop you, opponents will need to figure out which way you will most likely go.
Try to relax
Soccer dribbling is not just about how skillful you are with the ball; you need also to have a lot of confidence in yourself. When dribbling you must really think that you can get around your defender. Try not to panic while receiving the ball. Instead, be calm and try to figure out the best way to get around your opponent.
Balance is important
Your main mission when dribbling a soccer ball is to get around your opponent and make him/her lose balance. At the same time you need of course to maintain your own balance as well.
Equilibrium and soccer dribbling
Equilibrium is an advanced subject, but I will try to keep it simple. You and every human on the earth have something called "center of gravity". This gravity center is situated (on every human being unless you are from Mars :-) in the middle of your torso (your torso is located just about at your navel).
Your body will be in equilibrium whenever an imaginary line from the center of gravity falls in the middle of the support area. In your and every soccer player's body the space between your feet is what we call the area of support.
If your feet are together, the equilibrium of your body will be less. This is because your center of gravity may fall outside the area that is created by your feet. Here is how you can try this out:
•Stand with your feet close together
•Ask a friend to push you a little on the back (not too hard)
•In the next moment you will lie on the ground, but what have you discovered?
Well, you have discovered that falling over will be much easier than when you have some space between your feet. Squat down with your feet apart, then lean forward (just a little bit) and flex your legs slightly, and you will discover how easy it is to keep your balance.
Now start to dribble by following these steps:
•Have a space between your feet
•Lean your body forward a little
•Both legs should be flexed
•You should also have your haunches down
•Both of your arms should be relaxed and not moving
What you are learning now is another thing that is important when talking about balance.
Do you need proof?
Every movement you make with the ball will move your center of gravity forward, backward, up and down.
If you don’t really believe this place yourself on a large scale (if you can find one of course). Start to move your arms directly after the indicator of the scale stops.
The indicator will swing either up or down, and moving your arms faster will increase the swing of the indicator. What you have discovered is another important part of dribbling: rhythm! When dribbling you need to react and make decisions quickly, but your movement must still have a rhythm.
How to find your opponents’ weak side?
Your opponents will always have a weak side; it’s up to you to find it. But before spending many hours studying your opponents, let me give you a little hint: Try to check whether your opponent is right- or left-handed.
Now you may wonder what your opponent's hand has to do with dribbling. I mean, aren’t we discussing soccer dribbling here? Of course we are discussing soccer dribbling but to locate your opponent’s weak side, you need to know his/her weak leg. How do you discover that?
Well, if you dare, you could just ask him, or you could use another smart way to figure it out. Just check whether he/she is left- or right-handed. Now you may wonder how you’re going to know if your opponent is right- or left-handed?
Well, if your opponent is right-handed, his/her left leg will normally be weaker, and if he/she is left-handed, his/her right leg will be the weaker one. Your opponent will also have more problems in handling the ball using his/her weak leg, so watch out for this!
Do not completely trust this advice. There are skillful opponents who can handle the ball pretty well with both feet; therefore, watch carefully before deciding what leg is the weak one.
Finally, don't forget this one: Passing the ball to an unmarked teammate is much more efficient than trying to dribble through a wall of opponents.
Mastering the art of soccer passing is a must if you want to perform well as a soccer player. Without good passing skills your time on the field will be short. Passing is so simple but still so difficult. It may look simple when professional players find each other with long and precise passes, but these players have spent thousands of hours on a soccer field practicing soccer passing.
You should always try to pass the ball simple. With simple I mean that passing the ball to a nearby standing teammate should always be your first option (but don’t pass the ball if he/she is marked by an opponent). Of course you will get credit from teammates when you find them with 40 yard passes, but always try to pass the ball to your nearest teammate.
Providing your teammates with quality passing especially when you are under pressure is also a moment where you need to be calm and try to find an easy solution. In order to become good at passing, you also need to become familiar with the different type of passes, and the various ways in which they are used…
In soccer, the most frequently used pass is the push pass. This pass is easy to learn and you will know how to perform a push pass correctly just after few training sessions, but to master it you will need to practice a lot more.
The wall pass, also known as the give and go and one two pass, is a tactic that many sports use. In fact, the wall pass is the most basic one of all offensive tactics but is still very effective when used in the right situations.
The chip pass is performed by a jabbing motion down & under the ball to get it up into the air. With a chip pass the ball will get a backspin which will slow down the speed of the ball when it lands on the ground.
The backward pass in soccer is very efficient when you have the opponent’s goal behind you. This type of pass is performed by kicking the ball with the heel or the sole of your kicking foot.
Passing into Space
Passing into space is used frequently when the game is played at high speed. The player without the ball must provide a passing option for the ball holder by running into space. If you are the ball carrier, you must look around you and keep an eye on movement and runs by your teammates.
Instep Drive or The Knuckle Shot
The instep drive is a very useful soccer shooting technique when you want to strike the ball with power from long range. However, this type of shot is very hard to control which means that you should not be surprised if the ball ends up 20-30 yards behind the goal.
A goalkeeper’s worst nightmare is known as the swerve shot. This type of shot will swerve once you fire it and to save it requires a lot of effort. However, learning learn how to perform a swerving shot is really difficult and not many players in the world are able to perform it in high tempo. However, you should still practice on it and try it out in real games because failure is the key to success.
A full volley can create a powerful shoot which can be impossible to save (if you get it on the goal of course). The most difficult thing with a full volley is to get your shot on the goal). You really need to hit the ball perfectly and in right moment. If you fail to do so, the ball will often end 20 yards behind the goal. This type of shot is ideal when you have several opponents running towards you while the ball is falling from the sky. A common situation is when the ball is cleared away from a corner kick and you are standing about 5-10 yards from the penalty box line.
A half volley is pretty similar to the full volley except that you will first get control on the ball and then fire the shot. This is also why a half volley is a better alternative for long range shoots because you will be able to receive, aim and fire the shot while the opponents are unprepared. However, keep in mind that beating the keeper with a 30 yard shoot really requires a lot of skill. But, I’ve seen people score goals from 70 yard with the half volley so it is not impossible. Like with any other soccer shot you should not overdo it. Instead, try it twice but not more than three times per game.
A side volley is great when you have the ball bouncing at your side. A side volley requires good balance and great precise timing which means that you need to play it properly before striking the ball. The most difficult thing with a side volley is to get the ball on the goal. It may look easy but often you will either totally miss the ball or send it 30 yards behind your opponent’s goal.
The flying volley is not something you will see every day. This is a type of shoot that requires great acrobatic abilities and timing. The most difficult thing with a flying volley is that you need to jump in the right moment. It is also crucial to know how to land because if the ground is hard it will hurt, believe me; I know what I am talking about :-) There is also a risk that you could hit your opponents head instead of the ball. So, be cautious and make sure to plan your jumps.