Anaerobic Capacity With Dribbling

By Alex Trukan

This exercise is focused on developing anaerobic capacity. Improving this physical component enables players to sustain maximal speed and strength of actions throughout the whole match. In addition, the practice integrates dribbling and ball manipulation.

Set up and directions
Organise a square of appropriate dimensions to suit group characteristics. Place cones or sticks around the area as shown on diagram. Distance between each marker should be 6-8 yards (players should dribble on the distance of 15-25 yards overall).

Organise players with one ball each in the middle of the square. Their task is to dribble in the square (low speed). This can be altered with ball manipulation or juggling. Exercise is flexible in terms of number of players. The amount of dribbling “stations” should be adjusted accordingly to enable all players to practice at the same time.


On the coach’s signal, each player dribbles on the maximal speed to the nearest available group of cones and makes a turn as shown on the diagram below. After that, his task is to return to the square and continue dribbling/juggling/ball manipulation at low speed.


To increase competitiveness, organize a small square in the middle area and set a challenge to be the first player back in the square. That will improve player’s motivation and it would be less needed for the coach to drive the practice.

Then, as a progression, players can remain in the middle square performing technical skills in the reduced space. Here, coach can incorporate ball manipulation, fun recovery games or juggling.

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Player’s dribbling on maximal speed should last between 2-4 seconds. After that, there is an active rest (low speed dribbling/ball manipulation) for 10 seconds. Exercise should be done in 2-4 series of 6-10 repetitions with 4 minutes rest between series.


  • Change shape of outside cones/markers
  • Competition – which player will be the first to the middle?
  • Change balls with teammates on coach’s signal
  • Increase/decrease inner area size

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

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