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99% Successful Dribble Theory

Introduction

Hello, I'm Masakazu Okabe, the Dribble Designer. Dribble Designer is a unique job that I have named and practiced alone in the world.

With my many years of soccer experience, I successfully discovered the "99% Successful Dribble Theory". As the name suggests, it's a theory of dribbling that allows you to evade defenders 99% of the time, barring any mistakes on your part.

This theory applies to anyone and is feasible in practice. Hence, not only have I been able to win numerous matches using this theory, but I have also shared it with many soccer players, including Japanese national players, and have had the opportunity to work with several global star players.

The job of a Dribble Designer is to design dribbles based on this "99% Successful Dribble Theory" and tailor them to each player's individuality.

This note is written so that anyone can practice the entirety of the "99% Successful Dribble Theory". In other words, once you understand this theory and master the techniques, you can evade defenders 99% of the time.

However, to actually make a play with a dribble, you need not only theory and technique but also a "challenging spirit". This is because it's tough to take the initiative and challenge during the pressure of a match, regardless of whether you can evade or not. In this"99% Successful Dribble Theory", I also emphasize the importance of a "challenging spirit". When you can foster a "challenging spirit", you will be able to take the initiative to dribble in a match, and should be capable of actively tackling any play.

The true purpose of writing this note is to convey the "challenging spirit" through the "99% Successful Dribble". I believe that the "challenging spirit" is not only applicable to dribbling, passing, shooting, and other soccer plays, but also to all aspects of life such as studying and working. It's a valuable mindset that can enrich your life. I would be delighted if everyone who reads this note is driven to take on challenges and live a fulfilling life.

Dribble Designer, Masakazu Okabe

※99% successful dribble theory is
The dribbling guide is organized into four sections: Logic, Technique, Training, and Advanced Skills. It's the ultimate dribbling bible, complete with 260,000 words and 450 explanatory videos!

99% successful dribble theory Logic

Chapter 1-1: 99% Successful Logic

Let's quickly delve into the theory behind the 99% successful dribble. As a premise, the "99% Successful Dribble Theory" is made up of a combination of two elements: the principle of evasion, or Logic, and the techniques for evasion, or Technique.

It's about embodying the logic of why you can evade in dribbling through the technique to actualize this logic.

If we were to make a comparison, the Logic would be the secret behind a magic trick, and the Technique would be the skillful sleight of hand.

Once you know the secret behind a magic trick, anyone can imitate it, but if your hand movements are clumsy, your trick will be easily discovered. Similarly, once you understand the Logic (the secret behind the trick) of a dribble, anyone can imitate it, and you might start to be able to dribble past opponents. However, without a technique like ball touch, you will lose the ball.

*On the other hand, even if you have the technique, if you don't know the Logic behind "why you can evade", you will never be able to evade no matter how much time passes. Even if you can evade instinctively, it's not reproducible and you can't reach the point of "99% successful evasion".

If you have experience playing soccer, I believe your technique is already at a certain level, so simply by reading this Logic chapter, I think your dribbling success rate will increase. Even for those who have never played soccer, knowing how to evade will enable them to efficiently acquire techniques.

However, completing the "99% successful dribble" with this Logic chapter alone is difficult. This is because there are many subtle ball touches, ways of using the body, and tips for maximizing physical ability, which are essential for embodying the "99% successful dribble", that require very specialized techniques. Some things can't be realized or reached by practice alone. I will introduce these techniques that embody the logic in the Technique and Training sections, so I hope you can complete the "99% successful dribble" along with them.

In any case, nothing starts without knowing the "secret of magic" = Logic. Let's read this Logic chapter, input "why you can evade", and first complete the image of evasion.

  • The Logic is very important!

As I have said repeatedly, the "99% successful dribble" is made by combining Logic and Technique. The Logic is the secret of magic and the Technique is the sleight of hand, as mentioned earlier. The important thing here is to understand that "the key is the Logic". This is more important for those who already have the [Technique] to evade and those who want to be able to evade with a dribble in the future.

This is because, even if you blindly practice feints and ball touches, i.e., [Technique], it's hard to evade in one-on-one situations if you don't understand the [Logic] of "why you are doing it". Logic serves as a seed and also plays the role of the correct ideal path and map. Polishing your technique without logic is like walking tirelessly without a map. No matter how hard you try, you can't reach the right place = 99% successful dribble. In other words, nothing starts without Logic.

Technique is merely a tool to realize Logic. It's an extreme argument, but if you can embody the Logic 100%, any technique such as touch and body use is fine (but please read the Technique section too, haha). Logic can be said to be the key to holding everything of the "99% successful dribble".

Did you understand the importance of Logic? Thank you for waiting, Let's talk about the Logic (the secret behind the trick) of the "99% successful dribble". I would like to reveal its entirety in the next page.

[Logic Chapter 1-2] The Revelation of the Logic for a 99% Successful Dribble

The logic of the 99% successful dribble is,

That's it! If you can create an absolutely winning distance, you can evade 99% of the time, and all you have to do is sneak into that distance without the defender noticing. It's a surprisingly simple secret, but this logic is deeply rooted in all my dribbles.

First, let's talk about the "absolutely winning distance". (You might wonder if such a thing exists, but I'll explain it later so please trust me for now, haha) It's all about "competing under conditions that guarantee victory". I never gamble with a 50-50 chance. Creating conditions where you can win absolutely, unless you make a mistake in your own choices or touches. This is the big premise for "99% evasion".

And the second part is "sneaking in without the defender noticing". The "absolutely winning distance" is the "absolutely losing distance" for the defender. So, the defender won't easily let you into that distance. That's why you have to "sneak in without being noticed". You might doubt if this is possible, but it is. I'll introduce some videos of actual examples later, but in particularly successful cases, the defender is evaded before they realize it and they lose without realizing it.

In other words, the conditions for absolute victory in dribbling are met before the defender notices. That's another way of putting it.

Honestly, this is the exact secret behind the trick. Now that you know the secret, you should be able to embody the "99% successful dribble" from today,,, although I would like to say that,

  • First of all, where is the absolutely evasive distance

  • And how do you sneak in there Without knowing these, you can't embody it. In the next chapter, I would like to first clarify where the absolutely evasive distance is.

⚽️Dribble Notes Vol.1: The Aesthetics of Winning Without Fighting Many of you may have a longing to deceive the defender (DF) with a splendid feint and dribble past them. I continued dribbling from my childhood with such a thought in mind.

However, I hit a certain wall. Being not a physically large person, I was blown away by the DF who relied on physicality or even when I thought I had dribbled past, I was body checked. There was a wall that I couldn't overcome just with technique.

So, I thought about "dribbling past without being touched" rather than competing physically with a muscular DF. If I could run through without entering the reach of the opponent, rather than deceiving the DF with a feint or shifting the center of gravity, it would be the point to overcome the wall. In other words,

This is the aesthetics of dribbling that the small-bodied me found. The philosophy of "sneaking into an absolutely winning distance without being noticed by the DF" is based on this aesthetic.

[Logic Chapter 2-1] What is Maai (distance) - Distance and Angle

Where is the "absolutely winning distance"? Let's think about it together. Look at the diagram below. You are the black figure, and the blue figure is the DF. The DF is not close, but the exact distance is not known. However, if certain conditions are met, an "absolutely winning distance" can be completed where you can absolutely dribble past the DF. Think about what conditions need to be met to complete this. The answer is below!

What are the "absolutely winning conditions"? The answer is...







Answer: The goal you are aiming for is behind you (→ Turn around to the unmanned goal)
If this condition is met, you can win more than 99% of the time, right? It's a straight line to the unmanned goal just by turning around, haha (I was a little naughty, wasn't I?) This is exactly the "absolutely winning distance". But this is not realistic, so I will explain about the "absolutely winning distance" that can actually be created in real games. What I wanted to convey here is that the distance is not just the distance to the DF, but also the position of the goal. More specifically, the angle formed by the ball-DF-goal is a big point. From here, I would like to think about the distance in terms of [angle] and [distance].

Let's delve into the [angle] first.

[Logic Chapter 2-2] The Angle to Win in a "Ready, Go!"

Situation In the situation mentioned earlier, let's consider a 1-on-1 match where the goal is directly behind the DF from an overhead perspective for easier consideration of distance and angle.

In order to understand where the absolute winning distance is, we limit the conditions for dribbling past as follows.

  • You're right-footed and dribble straight without feinting.

  • The timing of your move is readable by the DF.

Normally, you would think about whether to dribble past the DF's right or left. But, assuming that the DF can read your timing, if the DF starts moving at the same time, there's a high chance you can't get past, so it's not an absolute win. Of course, the current distance is not an absolute winning one.

The timing is readable by the DF, and there's no feint. Let's search together for where the absolute winning distance is under these conditions.
As mentioned before, the distance consists of distance and angle. First, let's keep the distance to the DF the same and just change the angle. (Here, I'm drawing not with the ball but with the angle between my body and the DF-goal) And one more thing, let's add the condition of dribbling vertically (dribbling parallel to the sideline).

180 degrees: The DF stands straight in your way, blocking you.
135 degrees: If you're fast on your feet, you might be able to swing past and shoot.
90 degrees: At this point, you can usually get past and carry the ball to the shot.

There is individual variation, but this range of 135 to 90 degrees is the winning angle. 0 degrees: This is the naughty "100% winning condition" mentioned at the beginning.

How was that? Even if the distance to the DF remains the same, changing the angle can greatly affect the outcome, right? At this point, I think we have dispelled the image that Maai (distance) equals physical distance.

[Logic Chapter 2-3] The Distance Where You Don't Lose the Ball

In a real game, it might be difficult to bring the situation to a 90-degree angle as shown in the previous 1-on-1 figure. (Indeed, the DF will be conscious of the goal and adjust the angle accordingly) Since I often win at an angle of about 100 degrees, I'd like to consider 100 degrees as the winning angle here.

 In this state, even if the DF has read your move, you can sprint straight towards the goal and carry the ball to the shot. But what about when you consider the distance? If the DF throws himself at the ball to cut it off, there's a risk of him touching the ball or hitting you, so it's not safe to say that you can get past 99% of the time.

So, you fall back to the distance where the DF just can't reach you even if he throws his leg out. Then, finally, an absolutely winning distance is achieved where you can't be touched by the DF and you can win by sprinting.

Once you get into this distance and angle, even if the DF has read your timing, you can shake off the DF with a vertical dribble and go for the shot. So, the absolute winning distance can be expressed as:

How was that? If you have experience in soccer or futsal, you may have "known" this intuitively, even if you've never thought about it. However, when you organize and consider angles and distances, various things become clear. For example:

  • If your opponent is a DF who is tall (has a long reach) but has no speed: → Keep a longer distance and a relaxed angle (obtuse).

  • If your opponent is a DF who is short but quick: → Keep a shorter distance and a deeper angle (acute). Being aware of this alone will increase your chances of winning and reduce the risk of losing the ball. Moreover, if you can increase your own physical ability (speed), the winning angle can be more relaxed, and the "absolute winning distance" will expand. (Please note that the distance does not change as it is derived from the DF's reach!)

Now you know the shape to absolutely win. Next, let's think about:

  • How to get there

  • How to sneak in without the DF noticing.

[Logic Chapter 2-4] The Shortest Route is the Riskiest

Let's revisit the concept of the 99% successful dribble. The key or trick to a 99% successful dribble was:

And as we've already discussed, the "absolutely winning distance" is as depicted in the previous diagram.
So, how do you sneak in unnoticed by the DF? First, let's consider the route to the absolutely winning distance.
From the position where you are facing the DF as shown in the figure, if you dribble towards the absolutely winning distance (indicated in red) by the shortest route, will you be able to get there and safely get past the DF?

The answer is no. As shown in the animation above, you're likely to be intercepted by the DF and lose the ball. In fact, if you try to go to the absolutely winning distance in the shortest route, you will enter the DF's reach (I'll explain why later!)

In the theory of the 99% successful dribble, you must reach that spot every time you attempt it. Since this route carries the risk of interception, it's hard to say that you can reach the absolute winning distance every time.

In reality, many dribblers have experienced this failure. This is simply due to misjudging the range of the DF's reach. In the next chapter, let's consider the reach of the DF's foot.

[Logic Chapter 2-5] The DF's Reach Extends in a Circle

When a DF tries to take your ball, they plant their pivot foot and stretch out their other foot. This movement is similar to expanding a compass, and their reach extends in a circular shape. If you touch this circle, you are within the DF's reach and risk losing the ball.

What should you do? If the opponent's reach extends in a circle, you should maneuver around the edge of this range, barely not entering it. If you circumnavigate in a circle as in the figure below, you can reach your destination risk-free every time.

Here is an example demonstrated!


Also, circumnavigating in a circle equals "sneaking in unnoticed by the DF". This is because DFs are often sensitive to distance but insensitive to changes in angle. (Especially DFs who "wait without extending their leg", I think this tendency is strong).

You might think "It's impossible to get into the absolutely winning angle that easily." Indeed, the above video is a demonstration, haha. Please take a look at the practical footage below!


You can confirm that we're keeping the "distance the DF can't reach", circumnavigating in a circle, and sneaking into the "absolutely winning angle", right?

Let's review once again. "The range" (distance and angle) consists of distance and angle, and the "absolutely winning The range" is

  • An angle where you can win with a quick start

  • A distance that the DF barely can't reach even when they stretch out their leg And to sneak in unnoticed by the DF, you need to

  • Circumnavigate in a circle. Summarizing the above leads to:

This is a solution for dribbling past the opponent that can be said to be an unchanging golden ratio. Although the logic part will continue, I hope you can engrave this in your heart!

*A note here: It's crucial to be just outside the reach of the DF's foot. We've explained that entering even slightly within that distance creates a risk of losing the ball, but it's also not good to be too far. Not only will the detour route be longer, but it will also be harder to create the winning angle. Make sure to accurately judge and aim to go just beyond that reach.

⚽️Dribbling Note Vol.2: How Many cm Can a DF Reach?

The maximum distance a DF can reach by stretching out their foot. Understanding this accurately is crucial to the "99% successful dribble". If you can always control the ball just outside this distance, you'll never lose the ball. However, as mentioned before, even entering this range by 1 cm is not good. Being too far away will also prevent you from getting past. Since you're playing on the edge, both events are likely to happen.

I wanted to accurately grasp this distance, and I suddenly thought. The "maximum distance a DF can reach by throwing out their foot" is only an estimate, a matter of perception. But actually, how many cm is it? Being the kind of person who isn't satisfied without thoroughly investigating, I've measured the range that various players can reach with their feet using a tape measure, haha.

The range a foot can reach is roughly proportional to the height (although it also depends on the range of motion of the hip joint). The tallest DF I have ever faced is Marco Materazzi, former Italy representative who shone as the world champion in the World Cup. I played a futsal match with him and experienced his greatness.

The beast-like aura, the overwhelming reach. The pressure I felt from him exuded a stronger presence than any other DF I have faced so far. When I actually matched up with him, I thought I was keeping a safe distance and cut in, as per my usual perception... but his stretched foot hit me! I was really surprised, thinking "You're kidding, right? Can he reach from there!?" Here's the scene↓


How far can a leg extended from a massive 193 cm, 92 kg body reach? I thought it must be the world's highest reach! So, I asked him to let me measure it...

It was a surprising 180 cm!

Given that the diameter of a size 5 ball is 22 cm, it means it's not safe unless it's a total of 202 cm away... I found out it was beyond my imagination. This figure has become a benchmark for me. Because if I keep a distance of 202 cm, no DF in the world can touch my ball. It was the moment when the image of the "strongest" within me was updated!

[Logic Chapter 3-1] The Fastest Dribble is the Vertical Dribble

Up to this point in the explanation, I haven't touched on cut-ins using only vertical dribbles (hereafter referred to as "center").

If you ask actual dribblers, "Would you prefer to go vertically or centrally?" most would answer "center". The main reason, I think, is that it's easier to use your dominant foot and the goal mouth is wider, making it easier to score.

However, in the "99% successful dribble", we start with mastering the vertical dribble.

Why? There are two main reasons.

At first glance, you may wonder about both. But after reading the following, you should think, "I'm going to master the vertical dribble from today!" First, let's explain the reason "Because it's the fastest dribble."

Let's think about dribbling again. Dribbling is the act of "running" and "kicking the ball" at the same time. Also, the faster the dribble, the more threatening it is to the DF, and the greater the possibility of scoring. In other words, increasing the dribbling speed is very important for dribbling past.

And as you master dribbling and approach your own maximum speed, you will approach the "sprint speed without a ball". * There are players described as "faster with the ball", but that's just a metaphor to praise the player!

Furthermore, if you want to maximize your dribbling speed! If you want to get close to pure sprinting speed! If you think this way and continue to master dribbling, gradually the ball becomes a hindrance, haha. Then the image of sprinting while touching the ball (mainly dribbling) will change to touching the ball while sprinting (mainly sprinting).

In other words, if you try to maximize your dribbling speed, you'll end up focusing on how naturally you can incorporate ball touches into your sprint.

So, between vertical and center, which dribble is closer to sprinting? If you watch the video below, it's clear at a glance that the vertical dribble is overwhelmingly easier to incorporate into a sprint, and that the vertical dribble is a movement better suited for running.

In the logic of the 99% successful dribble, we prioritize speed. That's why the dribble that can touch the ball while sprinting, or the vertical dribble, is our first choice.

But what about the other point, "The best choice to shake off the DF starts with a vertical dribble"? You're still wondering, right? We will explain this in detail in the next section!

[Logic Chapter 3-2] The Best Option Starts with a Vertical Dribble

The second reason is that "the best choice to get past the DF starts with a vertical dribble". This becomes clear when considering the mind games with the DF.
You are now in a one-on-one battle with the DF, and you're diverting to an angle from which you can surely win. You can win with a vertical dribble if you get to the angle where you're certain to win, but you're just a bit short of reaching that angle.

Now, if you are to feint and go either vertically or centrally, Show as if going vertically → then go center, Show as if going centrally → then go vertical, Which of these is more effective?

  • If you've reached the angle where you're certain to win, going vertical is the only choice.

To give the conclusion first, "showing as if going vertically → then going center" is overwhelmingly effective. Please watch the video below.

If you feign going vertically, the DF will tend to be on the back foot due to their awareness of their rear, causing them to be late in dealing with the cut-in. After all, having the goal behind them, the vertical dribble that gets closer to the goal is a threat to the DF.

On the other hand, if you feign going center, the DF can respond with a side step. Shifting weight left and right makes it easier to deal with subsequent vertical movements, and the risk increases.

From the above, it is rational to place the vertical dribble as the first choice for the reason that you can go either vertically or centrally. In summary:

In this theory, we consider: Run through vertically without question, Cut-in is predicated on a feint. If the DF feels the threat of "if you don't move, I'll run through you without question", the power of the feint of "pretending to go vertical" will increase, and a slight movement might cause the DF to back off significantly and lose balance (imagine getting a swing-and-miss with a change-up if you have a 160 km/h fastball). If you have the strongest vertical, the cut-in will naturally open up.

Therefore, the first choice is vertical. Let's first polish our vertical dribbling. At first, you may tend to run too much and the ball may fly off, but don't forget to "touch the ball while running". (In the technique chapter, we will cover in detail how to use your body when actually touching the ball.)

[Logic Chapter 4-1] Decisive Cut-Ins

Let's take a closer look at vertical dribbling and cut-ins.
You execute a vertical dribble once you've created an angle and met the condition of a "definitely winnable range". If the opponent doesn't move, you can pass through as is, making it effective even against DFs that don't respond to your play.
Conversely, in the case of cut-ins, you decide beforehand to cut in and act on the premise that the opponent will fall for the feint. In a sense, it's not very effective against DFs who don't respond to your play. (If they don't respond, you should go vertically.)
You might think it's good to see whether the opponent fell for the feint and then decide to go centrally or vertically, but that's too slow. Even if you have the strongest vertical, the opponent's center of gravity only retreats for a moment with a feint towards the vertical. They will try to recover immediately, so if you can't make the next move in that moment, you won't be able to get through.

The act of feinting assumes that the opponent will be somewhat fooled, and if you can't transition without hesitation to the next move, it loses its meaning. That's why cut-ins are decisive. You decide from the beginning to go to the center and act on the assumption that the opponent will fall for the feint.

What if the opponent doesn't fall for it? Assuming that they will be fooled and moving to the next action may lead to the loss of the ball at worst. But in exchange for this risk, the sharpness of your movement after the feint increases and a powerful cut-in, as if switching places with the opponent, is established.

Believe in the feint and go for the cut-in without hesitation. But it's hard to fully believe unless the power of the feint is credible enough. In the next chapter, I'll tell you how to enhance the credibility of the feint.

[Logic Chapter 4-2] Vertical and Center, Left and Right Divisions

We touched on the "credibility" of feints earlier. Credibility is a degree of trust. As a degree, we express it as high or low credibility. Considering the credibility of a feint:

High credibility = Truly believing the move will be vertical, falling for the feint Low credibility = Cannot believe the move will be vertical, it's too obvious and doesn't fall for it

That's how it works.

Posture is important for credibility. If you're making a vertical feint, but your whole body is facing the center, is the credibility of that feint high? Since it's a posture full of intention to go to the center, the credibility is low and the DF probably won't fall for it. On the other hand, what if your whole body is facing forward and you make a feint to go vertically? Probably, the DF will think you're really going vertically and will back off. However, if your whole body is facing vertically, it's easy to lose balance in the next move to the center and you might not be able to accelerate and get caught by the DF at worst. A deep-reading DF may even see through you if your posture is too vertical and think that you're plotting to go to the center.

What's important here is that even if you've decided in your mind to go centrally, your posture should be neutral, in a state where both vertical and central are possible. But that's difficult, isn't it? To stay neutral even though you've decided to go to the center!

So I consider dividing my body into left and right

to prevent the opponent from narrowing it down to vertical or central.

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