Switching Play and Dribbling: The Keys to Dominating the Football Field”

Welcome, fellow football coaches, to an exciting new practice that I have been using with my players for a while now! It’s a pleasure to have you join us here on my blog as we dive into the art of “Switching Play and Dribbling.” In this session, we are about to take a look at two fundamental aspects of the beautiful game that can elevate your football players to new heights.

Football, as we all know, is much more than just a sport—it’s a symphony of movement, strategy, and teamwork. To excel on the pitch, players must possess a deep understanding of various aspects, and today, we will focus on two vital components: switching play and dribbling.

Why are we delving into these aspects? Because, in the modern game, versatility is key. Successful teams and players can seamlessly switch their tactics and adapt to different situations. Mastering the ability to switch play with precision and finesse while dribbling past opponents with confidence can turn your players into a formidable force on the pitch. Whether you’re a coach looking to empower your players or a player eager to add more tools to your arsenal, this practice is tailor-made for you.

So grab a pen and notepad and begin to delve into what makes the practice work and how you can implement it with your team!


Picture a field divided into two halves, each with a gate placed strategically in the wide areas. There are two teams each with goalkeepers.


The game begins with one team given the freedom to attack and score in either goal. Their counterparts, on the other hand, can only earn points by skillfully dribbling through the wide gates. The objective is clear: score goals or dribble your way to success. But remember, the roles of the teams will switch after a designated period, keeping everyone engaged and on their toes.


  1. Versatile Scoring: To keep things exciting, both teams can be granted the ability to score in any goal or through the gates. This variation opens up new strategic possibilities and demands a higher level of adaptability.
  2. Specialized Scoring: In this variation, each team is assigned to score only in one specific goal, but they can still earn additional points by dribbling through the gates. This twist emphasizes the importance of precision and decision-making.


  1. Dribbling Opportunities: Can you identify the right moments to dribble through the gates? Timing and awareness are key here, as choosing the wrong moment could lead to turnovers.
  2. Strategic Play: Recognizing opportunities to switch the play and create moments for dribbling through the gates or isolating a defender is crucial. A well-executed switch can unlock defenses and create scoring chances.
  3. Exploiting Space: Are you able to lure the opposition to one side of the pitch to expose them on the other by switching the play? Patience and vision are virtues in this challenge.
  4. Patient Possession: For the team tasked with dribbling, patience is paramount. Can you maintain possession until the perfect opportunity arises to dribble forward? Don’t rush; wait for the right moment.
  5. Counter-Attacking Excellence: The team that’s scored must be swift in winning the ball back and transitioning into a counter-attack. Can you seize the moment when your opponents are off balance and create scoring chances on the break?

This session isn’t just about honing your players football skills; it’s about developing their decision making. It’s a masterclass in adaptability, strategy, and precision. So, get on the field and let us know how you get on with the practice!

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The sessions are from Mark Higginbotham, a coach with a range of qualifications from many different football authorities such as the English Football Association, NSCAA, National Federation of High Schools and the AYSO.
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