FA “safe session” – Dribbling and Ball Mastery



  • Mark out an area 20×20 yards, with four corner grids and one central grid all measuring 5×5 yards, as illustrated above.
  • Five players with a ball each.
  • One grid and one ball per player.
  • Each grid has a designated task for players to perform (e.g. four scissors moves, four turns with inside of foot, four turns with outside of foot, four kick-ups etc).
  • The coach designates a player who, on completing their task, triggers all groups to dribble to next corner or the next free grid.
  • Coach to determine the movement of the group around the practice area (e.g. clockwise, diagonally etc.).

Session information

  • Establish social distancing conditions to ensure no misunderstanding.
  • Area size to relate to ability of players and can be adapted to suit individuals where necessary.
  • This activity will develop players’ ability to move quickly with the ball under control as well as assess and respond to practice demands.

Coaching points

  • Encourage competition between individuals: be the first to dribble to each corner grid.
  • Players should work clockwise and anti-clockwise.
  • Encourage ball familiarity by including a variety of moves, lifts and balances can be called-for.
  • Ensure players use both feet and all surfaces with their heads up, knees bent and arms out for balance.
  • Players should concentrate on skills, but also be aware of the need to react and move-on, triggered by the designated player.


  • Mix-up the movement of the group (e.g. individual players swap diagonally whilst others rotate clockwise/anti-clockwise).
  • Introduce passing players in each corner who pass and move within the dribbling traffic.


Coaches returning to football activity during COVID-19 must follow Government and FA guidance.

Before setting up any of the sessions below, make sure you read our wider guidance, so you’re prepared for your return to coaching.

Also keep in mind that it would be ideal if footballs are only recovered or moved round the pitch by using feet, rather than picking them up.

Source – The FA Bootroom