"Dribbling vs Passing, which comes first?

Dribbling vs Passing?

I think that lots of coaches subscribe to the theory of pass first because this helps to get players to spread out. So, they teach passing first.

  • The players learn to spread out and pass.
  • The team becomes successful because they keep the soccer ball.

I have had coaches tell me "dribbling takes to long to teach", "teaching passing is easier" and "they don't want ball hogs".

I see the logic because the players develop a good first touch, which is important as well as being able to find good passes - let the ball do the work - play as a team...I get it! This problem is this philosophy does not develop the whole player.

What does this do for the players long range if all they can do is trap and pass?

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In my opinion, the players can learn passing technique at this age and should, but they must develop all four parts of the foot - sole, laces, inside and outside along with soccer moves.

This foundation will help them as they get older, as the field and pressure of the game increases. If we as coaches are going to develop the  whole player?

What happens when they get to the bigger field with limited or no dribbling skills, with more space on the field?

They now have to dribble into space or they have to dribble or turn out of the pressure. They will lose the soccer ball! It will happen on the bigger field!! The small game fits into the big game.

The kids will have to carry the ball and dribble.

At the younger ages kids are not aware of space...they run to the ball because that is what is fun - get the soccer ball!

Kids in this age group play with the soccer ball like it is their very own toy - they are still learning the concepts of sharing. So teach or coach what the players need not just what we think the game should look like.

This video gives you an idea of good dribbling skills. This young player has mastered using all four parts of the foot, soccer moves like cuts and step overs as well as changes of direction. His comfort level on the ball allows him to play with his head up.

What would you teach first - passing or dribbling?

What is your opinion? Throw in your two cents with comments, opinions and suggestions - lets see what the consenus is??

I reserve the right to approve all the submissions before they are posted below.

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Dribbling and 1 v. 1 is THE MOST critical skill in soccer because it allows you to create a “numbers up” situation. In principle it’s 11 v 11 so no one …

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