Dribbling is probably the first thing you need to master when you are starting out and it is probably one of the most fun things to do too on the field - just having a knock, mucking around with the ball at trainings (guess how the site got the name). The modern game, however, has become very fast. Attacks are less than 30 sec on average and gone are the days when the attacker could dribble past all the defenders to score. This fast paced nature of the game has lead to passing being used more than dribbling to advance up the pitch. It does not matter how fast you are, you can be faster than Usain Bolt but you would still be slower than the ball so its always better to pass the ball when possible to make the game faster. But after all that dribbling and elimination skills still remain one of the most important skills a player could have in their arsenal.
My guess would be that you have been taught the basics of dribbling by your coach before so i wont go over the details again. However, there are a few common mistakes i see players make that could be polished in order to improve their game.
- Not looking up when dribbling - The field is changing constantly. You can look at the field at one second and two seconds later the field could be completely different. A good player needs to know whats going on on the field every second and that includes when the are dribbling the ball. Try and get your head up every 2 seconds and you will see an improvement in every aspect of your game.
- Not bending your knees - The Ryan Archibald video i have attached below goes through this but the short version is if you have bad posture ie. don't bend your knees and bend your back too much, it is going to affect your game and may also cause back pain. Try bending your knees, it might feel a bit awkward but it will help you get low and give you a better view of the pitch.
Here are a few videos I think you will find very useful.
There are loads more video available on youtube on dribbling and elimination skills. If you are interested, Hockey Heroes TV has quite a few videos on different elimination skills you can use.
One of the best ways to master your ball control would be to find a little bit of space at home, in your room or garden or somewhere like that and practice for 10-20 mins everyday. Here's a video on few skills you can do at home.