When discussing dribbling there are two terms to consider using.
- Running with the ball
- Running after the ball
Running with the ball would be when you are dribbling in tight spaces. You might be dribbling at a defender, or trying to split two defender.
Running after the ball is when you have a lot of space in front of you. You would push the ball out in front of you and run after it since it’s faster to run without the ball at your feet than with it at your feet.
There is an excellent series of activities working on both of these types of running in the DVD Circle Drills To Improve Speed of Play and Movement.
A couple of variations to show how this can be done will be shown below. Much will depend upon the size of the circle and the number of balls.
In the diagram below there are 10 players around a circle that is 20 yards in diameter. Four players start with a ball.
The players with the ball start by dribbling the balls into the circle making sure they get a touch on the ball with every step. They need to keep the ball under control (running with the ball) but also keep their head up to make sure they don’t run into another player and also to make sure they are dribbling toward another player who is available to take the ball over. Players are encouraged to do this at full speed yet keep the ball within their control at all times. When they get to another player on the outside they leave the ball for that player who goes on into the circle and does the same.
Some of the options you can add is the players must dribble “inside-outside” so they alternate with the inside of the right foot and then the outside of the right foot or the inside of the left foot and the outside of the left foot. Or, they could do roll overs or moves on each touch etc.
By making the circle bigger, it allows you to add running after the ball into the activity as well. In the diagram below the circle is now 40 yards in diameter and there is a 10 x 10 square in the middle made up of cones. The same number of players and balls.
In this activity the players with the balls push the balls out in front of them and run after it and then must control dribble thought the center square and then speed dribble out and toward another player. This means they run after the ball, then run with the ball and then run after the ball again. When they get to a players on the outside they do a takeover with the player on the outside who does the same. They still must run with their heads up but now are changing speed and directions while in the middle.
There is a whole series of activities like these you can do to vary your warm ups and you can see many in the video Circle Drills to Improve Speed of Play and Movement.