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Football Dribbling and Ball Shielding

Football Dribbling and Ball Shielding

Children will learn to dribble the ball and use shielding to protect the ball when under pressure from an opponent

Activity 1:

Stuck in the Mud

10 mins


  1. Use your cones or markers to mark out an area big enough for your number of participants to be able to freely move around quickly with a low risk of bumping into others. Make the children aware that they need to be careful and avoid each other when moving around.

  2. Choose a small number of the children to be the 'Taggers'. These children should wear a bib to make them clearly stand out. Try to work at around 1 tagger per 6 children. You can increase/decrease the number of taggers for difficulty.

  3. Taggers are to try and tap players on the shoulder/back to make a tag and call tag. This mean a player is 'Stuck in the Mud'. The stuck player should freeze and stand in a star shape.

  4. Players can free other players that are stuck back into the game by ducking under their outstretched arm to release them.

  5. Players cannot go outside of the permitted area and should be stuck in the mud if they breach the sideline of the area.

  6. After a minute or two, when the taggers appear tired, ask the taggers to choose a player to give their bib to and then when they've all swapped, play again. Repeat as many times as needed

Teaching Points:


  • Marker cones

  • Bibs

Spider Tag

Activity 2:

10 mins


  1. Mark out your area, enough space for however many players you have to dribble a ball around freely.

  2. Choose approximately 1 'spider' for every 6 'baddies'

  3. Spiders have a bib that they scrunch in their hand rather than wear.

  4. When the game starts, Spiders are aiming to catch Baddies by throwing their bib at the baddies ball as they dribble around.

  5. If they manage to hit their ball, the spider becomes a baddy and the baddy becomes a spider

  6. If a player dribbles out of the area, they have to do 10 toe taps (or something equivalent on the spot) before they can start moving again. They can still be tagged by a spider during this time.

Teaching Points:


  • Balls

  • Marker Cones

  • Bibs

Activity 3:

Shielding v Coaches

15 mins


  1. Explain/Demonstrate the shielding technique you wish your participants to use

  2. Mark out a large space that players must stay within. Enough space for your players to dribble freely

  3. Each player should have a ball each

  4. Players are to dribble around the area, keeping the ball under control

  5. The coach (you can use participants also if you wish), should then move around the area toward different players - trying to get around to everyone in the group multiple times

  6. When the coach approaches a player, they must use their body to get between the coach and the ball to stop the coach from accessing the ball

  7. If the player successfully shields the ball, move on to the next player

  8. If they don't, take the time to show them what they need to do differently to do it effectively

  9. Keep moving around the group until you are happy that players are doing it well.

  10. You can increase the number of participants that join you as a 'tackler' to increase the volume of shields that each player performs

Teaching Points:

  • Ensure that your posture is good when dribbling so that you can see opponents coming

  • When opponent approaches, place your body between the ball and the opponent to block their access, but ensure that you can still see the opponent and the ball by not closing off your body to the opponent completely

  • Bend your knees and stick your bum out to create a strong barrier around the ball, use your upper body to make yourself as big as possible to get around

  • DONT PANIC: Keep calm and keep the ball under control


Balls (whichever sport you are doing)

Activity 4:

Save the Treasure

15 mins


  1. Mark out a large enough space for children to be able to dribble the ball around. You'll also need an area as a 'Bank', this can be a small square or a goal.

  2. Select one player to start the game as a 'Cop', they don't need a football

  3. The rest of the players are the 'Robbers', they need a ball each.

  4. The robbers aim to dribble their ball and keep it away from the cop.

  5. The cop is trying to tackle a ball off a robber and dribble their ball back to the Bank. The robber can try to steal their ball back before the cop gets it into the Bank but as soon as their ball is in the Bank, the robber becomes a cop.

  6. As the game goes on, more players become cops. The winner is the last robber to lose their ball.

Teaching Points:


  • Footballs

  • Cones

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