Academy Week 1 Focus: Passing & Dribbling

Dribbling & passing are the cornerstones of the game of soccer. Maintaining control and possession of the ball in all situations is essential to the success of a team and its players. For the first week of Skills Academy, we introduce the foundations of dribbling & passing. Later on in the session, we'll go more in-depth with dynamic dribbling, passing and utilizing specific foot skills to navigate the field and beat players 1v1.

Foundations of Dribbling:

  • Maintain ball control by taking small touches and keeping the ball close to the foot.

  • Keeping the ball close to the foot will make it more difficult for a defender to take the ball away.

  • Use different parts of the foot to accomplish different things while dribbling. For example: use laces to push the ball forward, and use the inside or outside of the foot to turn right or left depending on what foot you're using.

  • Try to pick your head up while dribbling to maintain awareness of the space around you and any incoming opposition.

Foundations of Passing:

  • The most essential pass is the push pass with the instep of the foot. 

  • Accuracy is the most important aspect of passing and can be accomplished by squaring up the body towards your target. Your shoulders should be facing in the direction of the player you wish to pass to.

  • Split-second decision making is crucial to making an effective pass. Players need to take in their surroundings before making a pass. If the target has no opposition in the immediate vicinity, you can play the ball to their feet. If there are defenders around your target, try playing the ball to space so that your target can run onto the ball away from opposition.

  • When you make the decision to play the ball to your target, the next step is to determine how hard or soft you should be hitting the ball. This is referred to as the "weight of the pass" and will allow your target to receive the ball under control.