Get Quicker on the Pitch With the Red Bulls' Soccer Dribbling Drills

August 8, 2011

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Even if you train for pure speed several times a week, you won't necessarily improve your quickness when dribbling a soccer ball. That's the difference between the best soccer players in the world and everybody else. According to New York Red Bulls strength and conditioning coach Scott Piri, the average player has the ball at his or her feet only about 30 times per game. That amounts to roughly two minutes, max, so it's extremely important to be ready to take advantage of your opportunities.

Piri, who is also a performance specialist at Athletes’ Performance, says, "There are good athletes who aren't as good on the ball."

But take heart. Specific training methods can increase your on-the-ball speed and help you maintain control. The Red Bulls perform Dribble Acceleration Drills once or twice a week during the season to improve their skills on the pitch. “The idea is you start slow," says Piri, "but eventually progress to doing it faster, so you're covering the distance in a shorter period of time.”

Start by doing the drills for 20 yards. As they get easier, do them for 30 yards and eventually 40 yards.

New York Red Bulls Soccer Dribbling Drills

Touch It on a Half

  • Dribble straight ahead, as fast as possible while maintaining control of the ball
  • Touch the ball with each foot as you take a step
  • As the right foot hits the ground, tap the ball
  • As the left foot hits the ground, tap the ball

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2x20-40 yards, 30 seconds after each

Touch It on One [Right Foot]

  • Dribble straight ahead, as fast as possible, while maintaining control of the ball
  • Touch the ball only as you take a step with your right foot
  • Don't touch the ball with your left foot

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2x20-40 yards, 30 seconds after each

Touch It on One [Left Foot]

  • Dribble straight ahead, as fast as possible, while maintaining control of the ball
  • Touch the ball only as you take a step with your left foot
  • Don't touch the ball with your right foot

Sets/Reps/Rest: 2x20-40 yards, 30 seconds after each

Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
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