Mini world cup

A mini world cup is great fun but it also gives young players many opportunities to practise all the skills they've been working on during the season.

It's also a good way to prepare for a tournament and get used to any special rules you're going to encounter.

Experience: any.

Set-up: divide your players into teams of three, four or five. 

Ask them to choose a captain and a team name.

Team names can be a country but they could be the name of a favourite animal, their school class or anything else. Encourage originality!

You could also invite one or two neighbouring clubs to send some teams along. If you choose to do that, make sure they understand the games are small-sided, everyone plays (no substitutes) and you're playing for fun; all the players will be winners.

Don't coach from the touchlines and don't have referees - the players can ref their own games.

How to play: 

  • Set up an area 30 yards long by 20 yards wide for every two teams.
  • Every team plays every other team. 
  • Matches can be between five and 15 minutes long, depending on how old your players are, the weather conditions and how many teams you have.
  • It makes it easier if all the games start on a loud whistle and they all end on a whistle.
  • Give teams a few minutes between each round of matches to have a rest.

At the end of the day, congratulate everyone and give each team a small prize to share. A bag of sweets is always popular!