Soccer Dribbling Drill: Beat the Defenders

Soccer Coach Theory Team

Equipment needed:

  • 1 goal
  • At least 3 soccer balls
  • 8 cones

Soccer dribbling drill set-up:

  • Set up two rectangular areas, approximately 8 by 3 yards wide
  • Set up the first rectangle approximately 12 yards out and the second 20 yards out
  • The goalkeeper starts in goal, and one defender starts in each of the two rectangles; the remaining players form a line approximately 30 yards out, each with a ball

Soccer dribbling drill execution:

  • The player at the front of the line must dribble the ball through each of the rectangular areas, beating the defenders then shooting at goal
  • Defenders cannot leave their coned area
  • Once the ball is dead (either the attacking player scores a goal, is tackled or the ball goes out of play) the player now at the front of the line starts the drill again
  • Rotate players so all get an equal go at the three positions (attacking player, 1st and 2nd defender)


Coaching tips:

  • To build confidence, start by asking defenders just to apply passive pressure on the attackers, not to make tackles
  • Players can use any trick or skill to beat the two defenders
  • Encourage attackers to dribble at pace to make it easier to beat the defenders and create a game-like tempo
  • Encourage attacking players to try a range of different tricks and skills to beat the defenders


  • Allow defenders to tackle
  • Add a time limit to get shot away to emphasize the speed of dribbling


  • Remove defenders altogether – attackers just do a trick or skill as they pass through the coned areas
  • Add a second attacker in between the defender zones. So first attacker beats the first defender, passes to the second attacker, who tries to beat the second defender and score a goal