Regular indoor football, sport and other activity for working adults in Singapore

Keeping Shape – Passing v Dribbling

Posted by rajiv on 7 January 2009

As we’ve discussed before, the team that wins is usually the team that keeps its shape better.

Good passing and movement is the best way for a team to keep it’s shape. I’ve raised the point in a couple of previous session reports – 20 November 2008 and 26 November 2008.

If a player runs with the ball, he has to be sure he finds a team-mate at the end of the run, because if the ball breaks to the opposing side, they can break quickly, with the player and his team-mates out of position. As Andy M says, “like a hot knife through butter”.

Also, as Andy M said earlier today:

if we pass the ball early and keep it moving then the tackles will be avoided, they only get a chance to tackle if we keep hold of the ball for too long.

If you’re going to hold the ball, it should only be long enough to find a team-mate who is in, or moving into, a suitable position to receive it, or to get a shot on goal.  If holding on to the ball or dribbling past opposing players frequently has no end product, you have to wonder if it’s more about show-boating than football.

I also find that players who burst forward with the ball frequently in the first part of the game fatigue faster, and often find it more difficult to keep going for the full hour. If one of the aims in playing regularly is fitness, than pacing ourselves is important.

More passing and movement and less dribbling not only helps a team to keep its shape better , it also helps players to pace themselves better over the course of a game.

Of course, more passing and movement requires more running off the ball. If you pace yourself well, it’s a very effective way of improving fitness.

There is no doubting that dribbling is an excellent skill, and can be very effective when used at the right time. However, not every time is the right time.

We shouldn’t just play to our strengths. Our sessions are an opportunity to work on other aspects of our game, especially those that we are weaker on. I think everyone who has played regularly can say they have improved as footballers.

The aim should be to be as all-rounded as possible. At our age, we’re never going to be professionals, with the specialization that that may require. Maintaining all-rounded skills means you get more out of the game. The games are more enjoyable, you find yourself fitter and sharper, and your participation is more sustainable.

Being all-rounded also works better with the kind of dynamic we have for our regular sessions.

20 Responses to “Keeping Shape – Passing v Dribbling”

  1. Andy M said

    quote ‘We shouldn’t just play to our strengths. Our sessions are an opportunity to work on other aspects of our game, especially those that we are weaker on’

    so most of us need to take more turns in goal 🙂

  2. rajiv said

    That was one of the purposes of the team co-ordinators. Do we need to start appointing team co-ordinators again?

    Everyone should spend on average 12 minutes in goal. Clive once proposed a stop clock! We don’t need to go that far, do we?

    If a player needs time to catch his breath, he’s better off going in goal, rather than loitering around the opposing goal, or remaining static in the middle of the pitch or in defence (although remaining static in defence is better than remaining static in the middle or upfront).

  3. Reza said

    One way of sorting out who goes in goal is that every time you concede, the last player on your side to touch the goal post is the next keeper. This encourages everyone to defend as a team and when you are tired, you are more enclined to stay back rather than goalhang.

  4. rajiv said

    Good idea, except I don’t see many of us running back to touch our goal post 🙂 . And because goals aren’t conceded at regular intervals, you’d still find players spending vastly differing amounts of time in goal.

    A strict 6-minute rotation might work best, so that we each go in goal twice during a game. We need a loud alarm that goes off every 6 minutes!

  5. Reza said

    Maybe we should invest in this?!

  6. rajiv said

    I have one of those!

    Actually I don’t, but we need one that goes off loudly every 6 minutes, otherwise, no one will hear it.

  7. Franco said

    sorry, sounds like typically Singaporean…;-) every things need to be ristricted or organised by fines…lol

  8. Boris said

    🙂 Have to agree with Franco on this one heh.

  9. rajiv said

    Andy M, Reza and Clive are all not Singaporean 🙂 .

    Anyway, no restrictions or fines in FIOFAFI, just a lot of encouragement to do the right thing.

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