8 Best Soccer Dribbling Drills: Dribble Like a Pro

Dribbling is a fundamental ball control skill in soccer.

Effective dribbling is crucial for retaining possession of the ball, enabling players to avoid tackle attempts and create space for passing and offensive plays.

Though professionals make running with the ball seem easy, dribbling is technically complex, requiring a high degree of control and agility, so players must practice this skill thoroughly and regularly.

After over two decades of playing soccer, I’ve been involved in numerous dribbling drills. The following drills are ones that I have found to be excellent for developing and refining soccer players’ dribbling skills.

Best soccer drills for dribbling:

  1. Cone Weave
  2. Pyramid
  3. Speed Weave
  4. Shark Attack
  5. Zig Zag
  6. Speed Circle
  7. La Croqueta Roll Through
  8. Elastico (Flip Flap)

This list includes drills for single and multiple players and provides options for training elementary and advanced dribbling techniques.

I’ve presented these drills below and have included a brief description of each exercise and its benefits, followed by a video showing you how to do the drill and a step-by-step walk-through.

By the end, you should have 8 drills that you will be comfortable taking to your next training session.

title of post over image of player dribbling ball

1. Cone Weave

The cone weave is a simple individual drill for working on foundational dribbling techniques that is suitable for players of all skill levels.

I chose to start with this drill because it is perfect for assessing your player’s basic dribbling skills and making sure you are starting from a solid base.

Players run between a line of closely spaced cones using one foot to control and move the ball forward. The aim is to use small touches and keep the ball close to the body as you weave through the cones. 

In this example, players use one foot to move the ball.

However, the cone weave drill can be varied in multiple ways to concentrate on specific dribbling touches and movements.

Benefits of the Drill

The benefit of the cone weave drill is that it helps players build their ‘close control’ abilities:

  • Trains players to keep the ball tight at their feet while running.
  • Enables players to control the speed and direction of the ball with increased precision.
  • Develops the habit of looking up rather than down at the ball.
  • Hones players’ spatial awareness.

Check out this drill in the video below.

5 Essential Dribbling Drills Every Player Should Master


Step 1: Lay 10 to 15 cones in a straight line, leaving 1½ to 2 feet between each cone.

Step 2: Starting at one end of the cones, the player weaves between them with the ball close to their bodies, using one foot to move the ball with 3 quick, light foot touches.

Step 3: When the player reaches the last cone, they can repeat the drill with the opposite foot, increasing the speed with each repetition (the number of reps depends on the training context).

If you’re looking for more simple soccer drills, then have a look at my list of the 10 Best Soccer Drills for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide, for more options.

2: Pyramid

Next, we have the pyramid drill.

The pyramid drill involves an individual player dribbling past pairs of cones arranged in a pyramidal configuration.

I chose this drill because it requires players to be creative about the path they choose to take through the cones. They need to think for themselves rather than just follow instructions.

Players run the ball through the cones in an undetermined path as though dribbling past a group of defenders.

It is crucial that you use pairs of cones because this simulates real defenders more accurately than a single cone, which is significantly thinner than a human!

Benefits of the Drill

The team’s dribbling skills will benefit from the pyramid drill in the following ways:

  • Builds confidence and decision-making acuity when maneuvering past multiple opponents in close succession.
  • Improves close ball control.
  • Develops the ability to perform rapid changes in direction and speed.
  • Reinforces the habit of looking up while dribbling.
  • Allows players to practice and experiment with various dribbling tactics and techniques.

Check out the pyramid drill in this video below.



Step 1: Set up a pair of cones about 3 feet apart to form the top of the pyramid, then place 2 pairs of cones (with the same 3-foot spacing) for the second row of the arrangement, 3 pairs for the third row, and 4 pairs for the base of the pyramidal pattern (optional).

Step 2: Instruct players to start at the top of the pyramid, from where they dribble the ball around (not between) the pairs of cones and exit at the bottom of the pattern, using any path and techniques they wish.

Step 3: After players reach the end of the pyramid, they can walk back to the starting point and repeat the drill (or wait for another player to have a turn).

To kick-start your soccer training, I highly recommend you also check out my 30-day Soccer Fitness program.

Following a soccer-focused workout program that gives you some clear direction to your training will set you up perfectly to make the most of these drills.

Combining the technical side of these drills with a dramatic increase in your fitness will set you apart from the other players around you.

A great soccer player is a fit soccer player. I created this fitness program to help you reach your potential and be that player.

3. Speed Weave

The “speed weave” drill is similar to the cone weave, but, as the name suggests, it focuses on speed.

Each player weaves in an s-shaped path through a straight line of widely-spaced cones, running as fast as possible while maintaining ball control.

I like this drill because we know that if a player can combine speed and dribbling skills effectively, they can become one of the most effective players on the field.

After passing the last cone in the line, the players must accelerate to a full sprint with the ball through an open space until they reach a single cone that marks the endpoint of the drill.

Benefits of the Drill

Getting your team to practice the speed weave drill will provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Improving a player’s ability to move forward with the ball at high speed.
  • Hones players’ proficiency at making rapid, side-to-side movements (which is particularly useful for wingers).
  • Develops general dribbling agility and control.

Check out this drill in the video below.

Individual DRIBBLING Training Session For Footballers | 5 Drills To Improve Your Dribbling


Step 1: First, you position a single cone at the starting point, leaving an open space of about 5 feet and arrange 7 cones in a straight line (spaced about 3 feet apart), and finally, leave a gap of 15 to 20 feet and place a cone to mark the end of the course.

Step 2: Direct the players to start the drill at the first cone and instruct them to dribble the ball with one foot while weaving rapidly through the middle cones.

Step 3: Once players finish weaving through the center series of cones, they sprint at full speed (keeping the ball close to their bodies) until they reach the last cone.

Step 4: Repeat the drill with the other foot.

If, at the end of this article, you need more options , then check out my list of 10 Soccer Ball Control and Footwork Drills (For All Ages), for more ways to improve your players dribbling skills.

4. Shark Attack

“Shark Attack” is a fun group drill for your team involving dribbling between safe zones (called islands) and open spaces where they have to evade being tackled by defenders (the sharks).

I really enjoy using this drill with younger kids as they always love the game aspect of this drill. (Check out my other recommended drills for kindergarten kids or youth if you are interested.)

Players are safe when inside the boundaries of an island (marked with 4 cones) because sharks cannot enter.

However, only one player is allowed on an island at one time, and players cannot stay there for more than 5 seconds.

If a shark gets the ball and kicks it out of bounds, the player who lost possession must leave the area and perform a short task before re-entering the game.

While performing the drill, players should focus on using small, controlled touches.

They should also concentrate on dynamic movements to successfully avoid defenders while moving between the islands.

Benefits of the Drill

The shark attack drill benefits the team’s dribbling skills in several ways:

  • Players ingrain the habit of looking up when dribbling while also developing and enhancing their spatial awareness.
  • Develops the ability to make rapid direction and speed changes.
  • Improves the capacity for calm and decisive thinking while under pressure from defenders.

Check out this drill in the video below.

Football Coaching Resource - Skill Practice - Dribbling & RWTB - Shark Attack


Step 1: Start your layout for the drill by creating 4 islands arranged in a 65 x 65-foot square (one island per corner), with each island consisting of 4 cones to form a 16 x 16-foot box.

Step 2: Finish the drill configuration by creating a fifth island in the center of the playing area.

Step 3: You can designate 2 or 3 players to act as sharks (wearing bibs) and give 6 to 8 players a ball (increase the number of sharks to make the drill more challenging).

Step 4: The players take their starting position (anywhere inside the playing area).

Step 5: Set a timer for 5 minutes (you can adjust the time to suit your team’s age and fitness level).

Step 6: Start the game with the players dribbling from one island to another (in no particular order) while trying to evade the sharks when moving through the open spaces in the playing area.

Step 7: After the specified time limit, you can instruct each shark to swap positions with a player so they also have a chance to practice their dribbling skills.

For more attacking and defending drills, check my recommendations of the top 10 Soccer Attacking Drills or the 10 Best Defensive Soccer Drills.

5. Zig-Zag

Zig-zag is a versatile, effective individual drill for building and honing dribbling skills.

You place cones in 2 widely-spaced lines, with your players dribbling in a zig-zag pattern from one cone to another.

Players use a specific dribbling technique during each repetition. They can also practice variations with subsequent reps.

During the drill, you should get your players to move quickly between the cones with small touches while maintaining precise control of the ball and keeping it close to their body.

Players should try to increase their speed with each subsequent rep.

I like to encourage players to perform the drill multiple times, and encourage them as I see their confidence and ability improve.

This drill also works particulary well as a drill for high school students.

Benefits of the Drill

The benefits of the zig-zag drill for players’ dribbling proficiency include:

  • Improves close control skills (like using small, light touches)
  • Develops the ability to make fast and precise changes in direction and speed.
  • Increases speed while running with the ball.

Check out this drill in the video below.

What EVERY BEGINNER needs to know about DRIBBLING


Step 1: Arrange 6 to 8 cones in a zig-zag pattern about 15 feet apart, with a 6-foot spacing between the cones on each side of the configuration.

Step 2: Each player begins the drill at the cone on the bottom right corner of the configuration, and they start dribbling with the outside of the left foot in a diagonal path towards the second cone.

Step 3: When they reach the second cone, the player stops the ball with the inside of their left foot.

Step 4: The player shifts the ball to the outside of their right foot and dribbles with the ball to the third cone (on the right side of the cone pattern).

Step 5: When the player arrives at the third cone, they stop the ball with the inside of their right foot.

Step 6: The ball gets swapped to the outside of the left foot, and the player repeats the procedure until they reach the final cone.

Step 7: Instruct your team to repeat the drill using variations like only dribbling with the outside of their feet and changing speeds (fast and slow) between each cone.

6. Speed Circle

In the speed circle drill, you have your players run with a ball in a straight line through the center of a circular configuration of cones.

Once they reach the boundary of the cones, they dribble around the outside of the circle until they reach the starting point. The players repeat the process but dribble around the opposite side of the pattern each time.

Get your teams to vary the speeds during the drill.

They should dribble slowly along the straight line inside the circle and significantly increase their speed while running with the ball along the perimeter of the playing area.

Benefits of the Drill

Practicing the speed circle with your team improves several aspects of their dribbling skills:

  • Strengthens overall close control.
  • Develops the ability to dribble at high speeds.
  • Improves players’ ability to make dynamic changes in acceleration and deceleration.
  • Hones the capacity to dribble in straight and curved lines.

Check out this drill in the video below.

5 Essential SPEED Dribbling Drills | Improve Your Dribbling Acceleration With These Drills


Step 1: Start establishing the layout for the drill by creating 3-foot wide entry and exit gates with 2 pairs of cones placed about 10 to 15 feet apart.

Step 2: Finish the pattern by placing 4 cones on each side of the gates in a curved line (semi-circular shape) to form a circular shape.

Step 3: Players start the drill at the entry gate, dribbling with 1 of their feet into the circle following a straight line toward the exit gate, and make sure to move with the ball in a slow and controlled manner.

Step 4: When they reach the exit gate, have them dribble out and around the boundary of the circle (in a clockwise direction) at full speed.

Step 5: Once arriving back at the entry gate, players finish the rep by repeating the procedure as before, but this time dribbling counter-clockwise around the circle towards the starting point.

Step 6: Players can repeat the drill 5 times with each foot, and you can incorporate technical variations by having them use different sides of their feet (inside or outside only, or a combination of both).

7. La Croqueta Roll-Through

The “La Croqueta Roll-through” is a technical drill that is worth considering if you are coaching players with advanced skills.

I like this drill because it challenges those players that find some of the other drills a little too easy.

This drill allows players to practice the la croqueta, a complex, multi-touch technique using the outside, inside, and soles of the feet.

The move is effective for dodging and breaking away from defenders while in confined spaces.

You use a straight line of closely spaced cones to create the layout for the drill.

Players take turns to weave through the line of cones while performing the la croqueta and rolling the ball through the obstacles.

The focus is on ball control and economy of movement. Players should make small, accurate touches so the ball stays close to their body throughout the drill.

Benefits of the Drill

The la croqueta roll-through confers the following benefits to players’ dribbling skills:

  • Develops and refines their close control ball skills and footwork.
  • Strengthens their ability to outmaneuver defenders in tight spaces (the drill is particularly effective for improving players’ side-to-side movements).
  • Improves their concentration while running and controlling the ball (because of the intense mental focus required to perform the la croqueta correctly).

Check out this drill in the video below.

Improve Your Dribbling | 10 Easy Close Control Dribbling Exercises


Step 1: Position 7 cones in a straight line, leaving a 1 or 1½-foot gap between each cone.

Step 2: Instruct players to start the drill by using the sole of the right foot to roll the ball (in a leftward direction) between the first and second cones.

Step 3: Once the ball has passed between the cones, players stop its motion with the inside of the left foot.

Step 4: Next, each player performs the la croqueta by quickly and precisely shifting the ball from the inside of the left foot to the inside of the right foot and then back to the inside of the left foot.

Step 5: After the la croqueta, the players use the sole of their left foot to roll the ball (rightwards) through the second and third cones.

Step 6: Players stop the ball with the inside part of their right foot.

Step 7: Now, they perform the next la croqueta as before but in reverse, passing the ball from the inside of the right foot to the inside of the left foot and then back again. 

Step 8: Players roll the ball through the third and fourth cones with the sole of the right foot.

Step 9: They repeat the drill from Step 2, executing la croquetas and roll-throughs on alternating sides until reaching the end of the line of cones.

8. Elastico (Flip Flap)

The “elastico” is another advanced dribbling drill your team can practice.

Also known by the less elegant name flip flap, the elastico is a fast, two-part technique for moving around defenders and into open space.

I think it’s a great skill to learn and I included it in my list of the Top 10 Soccer Tricks and Skills to Learn.

This dribbling maneuver looks simple, but your players must invest considerable time and effort to execute it effectively on the field.

The first part (the flip) of the elastico involves shifting the ball to the side of the body with the outside part of the foot.

For the second part, the player performs a swift downward chop with the inside of the same foot to stop the ball and send it sideways to the opposite foot.


The elastico drill benefits players in the following ways:

  • Develops skill and confidence with this specific dribbling technique.
  • Improves side-to-side ball control for evading defenders.
  • Trains players’ ability to change speed while running with the ball (since they stop advancing while performing the technique and then rapidly accelerate away after completing it).

Check out this drill in the video below.

Elastico beginner tutorial | learn the flip-flap


Step 1: Get players to start by practicing the technique without the ball, instructing them to step their playing foot to the side (while incorporating their whole body in the movement), then have them bring the same foot down to the ground at about an 80-degree angle.

Step 2: Next, team members can practice the elastico while standing in place, shifting the ball sideways with the outside of the right foot and then chopping the right foot downward to catch the ball and send it to the left side of the body.

Step 3: For the final progression, you can place a cone about 6 feet ahead of the starting point.

Step 4: Tell players to dribble the ball at high speed toward the cone, then once in front of the obstacle, they must sweep the ball to the right-hand side with the outside of their right foot, finally catching and sending it at an angle to the left foot.

Step 5: When their left foot receives the ball, they accelerate forward and past the left-hand side of the cone.

Step 6: You can have your team repeat the drill with the same right-to-left foot sequence, or they can build versatility by alternating the feet and performing the flip with the left foot and the flap with the right.


The drills I’ve described above are effective for developing foundational and advanced dribbling skills in the player’s you are coaching.

Working these drills with your players provides the opportunity to practice and improve their close control, dynamic speed and directional changes, overall spatial awareness, and other essential elements of effective dribbling.

For more options, check out my 10 Best Soccer Coaching Drills: Perfect for Practice Sessions.

Ben Clayfield

Hi! My name's Ben. I've played, watched, read about, and enjoyed soccer throughout my life. I really enjoy finding out more about the game I love and sharing it with you all. Find out more about me here - Ben Clayfield

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