Ball control

Volleyball

It’s very important that young players get their bodies quickly into line with an approaching ball, especially if it is in the air. If they don’t, they either stick out a hopeful foot and get half a touch on the ball or they miss it entirely. Volleyball will help your players practice this essential skill. […]

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Three team keepaway

Objectives: To practice support play, ball control and ‘vision’. Age group: U10s and upwards. Set up: Create a 25-yard square with goals on two of the four sides. Divide your squad into three teams. How to play: Two teams play keepaway in the area. The third team is positioned around the sides of the square. […]

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Six goal game

This is a classic coaching game that I use several times a season with players aged from six to 15. It works on several key skills – attacking, defending, communicating, making decisions, passing, shooting. In fact, just about everything your players need! Set-up: Mark out a 40×30-yard area with three evenly spaced goals at each […]

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Steal that ball

Objectives: To improve dribbling and passing skills, teamwork, decision making. Age range: U5s to U8s. Number of players: Minimum of eight but can be the whole squad. Set-up: Create a 25×20 yards playing area with a three-yard home base in each corner. Divide your players equally into four teams. Each team is allocated a home […]

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Gladiator

This game is one of my “back pocket” games. It’s simple, competitive, suitable for all ages, any number of players and it teaches good defending and ball control skills. Age group: U5s to U11s. Set up: Create a playing area big enough for all your players to dribble around in. Every player has a ball […]

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The Fabregas game

Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas is probably one of the best holding midfielders in the game – he just doesn’t give the ball away. This game will help your players learn how to look after the ball, just like Cesc! Age group: U9s and upwards. Set-up: Play 4v4 (or 5v5 with goalkeepers) on a 30×20 yards pitch […]

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Long crossing technique

It is important to stress to all your players that when they are going for distance, or want a high-crossing ball, they must always kick a moving ball, never practise kicking a stationary (dead) ball — only do this for practising corners and free kicks. The technique you need to teach your players for long […]

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Through the gate

This simple game works on your players’ ball control skills. It’s particularly good for players of intermediate ability. But players of all ages and skill levels enjoy the competitive nature of the game. When it’s played correctly, and well, it looks very impressive. Set up: Divide your players into teams of two or three. Create […]

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