How to Beat Defenders off the Dribble

soccer-defending-block-tackleJust about every player wants to know the secret to dribbling past opponents, and this article will shed some light on it. Two questions typically get asked. First, what is the best move to use when dribbling? And second, how do you beat someone 1 vs. 1?

What is the best move to use?

You can debate the merits of various 1v1 moves endlessly. There are step-overs, cuts, drags, stop-and-gos, 360s, and much more: in short, plenty of options. But in reality, it does not matter much which move you use. You do not need a particular special move to beat your opponent, and different players are more effective with some than others.

Perfecting particular soccer moves is not the most important aspect of beating a defender with dribbling. Instead, you only need to know two things, which leads us into the second question!

How do you beat someone 1v1?

You most likely have heard these two things I am going to tell you, but they are crucial to take to heart, especially if you can do both of them together.

The two things in order to beat someone off the dribble are change of pace and change of direction. This is it.

The best coaches I’ve ever had drilled these two things into me, and got me to a point where I could do both. My game improved significantly as a result.

The most vital component to beating a defender 1v1 is achieving separation. A change of pace or a change of direction can get you a little separation on their own, but pairing them together yields greater separation and allows you to get around your opponent.

We’ve said that the particular move you use doesn’t matter. But I would recommend perfecting two to three moves of your choice for your arsenal, so you don’t become predictable with the same one over and over again.

If you want to know more about dribbling, then check out our other blog post, Soccer Dribbling: How to Practice the Most Important Skill.


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