This activity is a variation of the standard 3v1 game that teams of all levels use as part of their technical warm-up. My players absolutely love this one.
Set up two 10×10 yard grids approximately 5 yards apart. You will need two teams of three players each. Start with the blue team in grid 1 and the red team in grid 2. The red team will start with the ball.
On your mark, the red team will begin to pass amongst themselves in their grid. They must execute one-touch passes. As soon as the first pass is made, a member of the blue team will come into the grid to defend.
Every time red gets 5 consecutive passes, they get a “goal.” You can adjust the number of passes required up and down based on the skill of your players. Five to eight is a good place to start. For younger players with less technical skill, you can put them on two-touch instead.
Once the blue team wins the ball, play begins in grid 1. The defending blue player hustles back to grid 1, joined by one of the red players who now plays defense. Continue back and forth for a set period of time (3 minutes or so). The team with the most total “goals” wins.
You can set up multiple grids with a larger team and play a “championship tournament.” Winning teams move up and losing teams move down.
Coaching points for this activity include:
- Properly weighting passes
- Consistent off the ball movement
- Effort by the defending players
You can easily play this game for 20-30 minutes during warm-up phase of your practice session. You can then transition into a possession game, or go straight to a game to goals.
Activities like this make up the backbone of quality practice sessions. Unfortunately, most coaches have not been exposed to what a proper session should look like. Too often they rely on what they did as a player or how they were coached.
Soccer is an always evolving game. Methods change as well as tactics.
You must stay on the cutting edge with fresh new soccer drills and activities if you are to keep your players excited and motivated to improve.
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