In football, to dribble is to run with the ball at your feet. Dribbling is the first skill that an aspiring footballer should learn. All that is needed to practice is a football and some open space. The secrets of being a good dribbler are to have good ball control and the ability to change pace and direction. A good dribbler will also be able to feint and change his body shape in order to fool defenders, for this good balance is needed. Speed of thought is also essential to ensure your opponent is unable to guess what your next move will be.

Back in the 1800s when football was taking shape, the first matches would just consist of one player starting a dribble until he was tackled or got within shooting range of the goal. After a successful tackle the player who emerged with the ball would start dribbling himself and so on and on. Passing the ball to a teammate was unheard of. A typical formation at this time would be one goalkeeper, one full-back whose job was to clear away any stray balls, one half-back - the designated dribbler or kicker (similar to a stand-off in rugby) and a pack of eight forwards who would protect and back-up the half-back. The game quickly evolved though after it was discovered that passing the ball from one player to another and spreading players to play in set areas of the pitch was enough to easily defeat the kick and rush tactics and tire your opponents. The first team recorded to use the passing game were the Glasgow side Queen's Park in the 1875 FA Cup.

Dribbling remains an essential part of the game, although only wingers and other attacking players would specialise in the art. The greatest dribbler the game has ever seen remains Stanley Matthews, 'the wizard of dribble'. However the art of dribbling can sometimes be at odds with what is after all a team game. In many situations a simple pass will help your team keep possession, rather than a mazy dribble which may display your own great ball control and silky skills but not help your team progress to a better position. That said, many of the greatest goals have come from the inspired dribbler, acts which always looks so simple but require such immense talent. For an illustration take the two Diego Maradona goals in the 1986 World Cup against England and Belgium and watch as he dribbles past defenders with ease.

Drib"ble (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Dribbled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dribbing (?).] [Freq. of drib, which is a variant of drip.]

1.

To fall in drops or small drops, or in a quick succession of drops; as, water dribbles from the eaves.

2.

To slaver, as a child or an idiot; to drivel.

3.

To fall weakly and slowly. [Obs.] "The dribbling dart of love." Shak. (Meas. for Meas. , i. 3, 2). [Perhaps an error for dribbing.]

 

© Webster 1913


Drib"ble, v. t.

To let fall in drops.

Let the cook . . . dribble it all the way upstairs.
Swift.

 

© Webster 1913


Drib"ble, n.

A drizzling shower; a falling or leaking in drops. [Colloq.]

 

© Webster 1913


Drib"ble (?), v. t.

In various games, to propel (the ball) by successive slight hits or kicks so as to keep it always in control.

 

© Webster 1913


Drib"ble, v. i.

1.

In football and similar games, to dribble the ball.

2.

To live or pass one's time in a trivial fashion.

 

© Webster 1913


Drib"ble, n.

An act of dribbling a ball.

 

© Webster 1913

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