One of the key attributes of a soccer player is the ability of pulling out perfectly the technique called ‘dribbling’.
Dribbling – A Treat To Watch
Soccer player developer, Avram Grant, is a great fan of dribbling and encourages newcomers to learn the art of dribbling. Like most of the soccer fans, he too believes that there is nothing more exciting than to see a player showcasing his mastery in dribbling against one, two, three and even four of his opponents. It even gets more exciting when dribbling is executed successfully against the leading soccer players in the world. He also believes that this technique enables a player to get long-lasting control over the soccer ball even while the match pressure is there and rising.
A Must Have Ability
Soccer player developers believe that dribbling is a must-have ability without which a player is incomplete. Technically, dribbling becomes more important if a player is a striker because the striker is expected to use this ability for breaching the opponent’s defense line and shoot the ball for scoring a goal. Soccer fans yearn about players who possess exceptional dribbling skills. One of the classic examples of perfect dribbler is Ronaldinho i.e. a former Brazilian soccer player whose dribbling skills were impeccable and unmatched.
It is said that the international soccer has never seen a player so talented in dribbling as Ronaldinho. He is regarded as the all-time best dribbler in the history of soccer. It was a treat to see him dribble on the field as he left his opponents in shame while he was progressing on breaking their defense lines. Hence, the question is whether dribbling and such like traits should be done demonstrated actively or not?
Of course, active demonstration of dribbling like traits is necessary. However, ‘active’ does not mean excessive use of the skill because excess is in no way good in a team sport like soccer. Soccer is a game made up of 11 players playing simultaneously in a match on each side. On each side, there are defined roles which players are performing individually as well as in formations. The ultimate objective of a team is to score a ball and for that players pass ball in between their teammates. Hence, it is impossible to allow one player to hold onto the ball for a long time without making a pass. It is strategically bad and is even considered an individual’s selfish act.
In addition, it has been often seen that players, who are good at dribbling, do the trick time and again because the technique is not letting them play usual game. This is called a self-composed dilemma of a soccer player in which a player could be seen struggling not to use the skill very frequently. In this struggle, there are consequences which are not faced by a player individually but by the whole team. The player is surrounded by his self-created obstacle which eventually requires proper guidance and coaching for removing the obstacle.
Dribblers are often criticized of playing their own game and ignoring team’s objectives. They are fond of beating others because they feel proud defeating as many as they can. This is why team coaches encourage their players to use this technique but to a certain extent, especially not excessively.
Dribbling – A Strategic Tool
There were and are many great coaches and team managers, who believed/believe that dribbling is an essential strategic tool. For instance, Pep Guardiola was seen encouraging players who could do dribbling. He believed that dribbling gives a player impenetrable command over the ball which in turn leads to effective and result-oriented passing. Dribbling was hence a must have attribute in a player. Even Avram Grant endorses viewpoint of Guardiola and believe that non-excessive use of dribbling is a fundamental tool for fulfilling the objective of scoring a goal and winning a match.
Not Entirely Necessary
For many modern day soccer coaches, especially the youth coaches, using the dribbling is not entirely necessary. Perhaps this is the reason why dribblers have been pushed back in today’s soccer. Such coaches may partially different from Guardiola’s viewpoint. Instead, they prefer developing soccer players in an organized environment of quick-play because they believe passing is the key. This is why most of the present day coaches base their practice sessions/training programs primarily on the basis of positional play as well as rondos.
Avram Grant’s viewpoint on dribbling is however different from youth coaches. He believes that during the foundation stage, a player must be allowed the freedom of expressing himself, even if expressing means demonstrating dribbling skills. He also believes that for the creative play, a player should not be contained to play in an organized and rondos environment only. In fact, a player must be given ample encouragement so as to enable him do dribbling when the situation warrants that.
So the success lies in maintaining the delicate balance between dribbling and organized and rondos play. Eventually, what matters during a game is whether the players can possess the ball for long or not. Mix training and playing tactics would also bring in quality in team’s play while also boosting creativity.
Dribblers Need To Be Encouraged
A player who owns the ability of breaching the defense lines of opponents must be encouraged and appreciated at all times. Such players are not only unique but also game-changers capable of winning matches. Ironically, when dribblers fail, their failures don’t go unnoticed because after the game dribblers are scolded unnecessarily. As a consequence, they are forcefully advised to stick to the plan i.e. quick play, instead of free play.
How a player would shine above other players if he is not allowed to commit mistakes and learn from them. If coaches want game changers, then they will have to ensure providing sustained freedom to players who can effectively use dribbling. Developing of game-changing skills require a player to have his freedom and do what he is capable of doing the best.