Dribbling: Key Point – See What’s Ahead Of You

This is post 2 in a series of 5 Key Points for coaching Running With The Ball. You can see a summary of the coaching points here, or start at post 1 here.

Look Ahead

As anybody who has walked headlong into a lamppost will tell you: There’s a reason we shouldn’t stare at our feet, the pavement, or (as I discovered to my cost, aged 10) Link’s epic battle with Ganondorf, when we walk down the street.

Yet when young players start to dribble you could be forgiven for thinking a sinister group had somehow made the balls of steel and then magnetized their eyes.

Technical Point

Keep your head up and use your eyes to look ahead.

In grassroots football, and for complete player development, bringing the head up whilst the ball is at feet is one of the most significant improvements a player can make.

It’s therefore crucial that when you introduce the topic of running with the ball, you couple it to a game with incentives for looking up. The F.A. Level 1 game ‘Traffic Lights’ is a prime example that most coaches will recognise, but there are infinite possibilities. There is no need to fall back on lazy in-and-out of cones drills, which have no relation to the way the game is played, nor the technique we want to encourage.

The best footballers can see a killer pass seconds before the defence, can discover space before their marker develops a defensive position and can spot a gap in the bottom corner before the goalkeeper sets their feet. At the top level these moments are frequently the game-breakers.

Read about the next Key Point for coaching Running With The Ball

  • Guest
    Nice one. I have stumbled and twittered this for my friends. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.
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