Make gentle contact with the ball. Using soft touches, you contact the ball more often, which slows you down initially, but as you get used to making more contact with the ball, it allows you to change direction and speed quickly, and with more control over the ball.
Keep the ball close to your feet. Keep your knees bent and try to stay low as you pass the ball back and forth between the insides of your feet. This is another factor in being able to change direction fast.
Keep the ball in the lower edge of your peripheral vision. Beginners have a tendency to stare at the ball when they’re dribbling. Instead, try to keep your eyes up and see the field around you. The earlier you start practicing this, the more natural it becomes. When you’re looking down, you can’t see the defenders, your teammates, or any movement that’s going on around you.
Change speeds. Changing pace is the easiest way to beat an opponent off the dribble. When you run at a constant speed, the defender can predict your movements more easily. Fluidly changing pace keeps defenders off balance.
Use your body to shield the ball from the defender. Use your body to protect the ball by staying in between the ball and the defender. Use your arms, legs, and shoulders to keep the defender away from the ball. Make sure that you are between the defender and the ball. You can also try to keep the ball on the foot that is furthest from the defender.