All skills warm up

I first saw this practice being used by an English professional club’s Academy coaches.

I have used it with my kids with some success. It’s fun, fast and reinforces basic skills in a competitive atmosphere. It also has an element of conditioning.

Set up

Set up as for shuttle races (teams of 4/5 kids facing a line of cones evenly spaced about ten metres apart). In the plan below, Xs mark the children and the cones are shown with a ‘C’.

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Start with simple shuttle races (the children run to and from each of the cones in turn. When they’ve run to each one they hand over to the next in line. The first team to finish is the winner).

Then tell the children that the handovers require the successful completion of a basic skill.

For example, place a ball between each line and the first cone. The runner must handover to the next in line by passing the ball to her, receiving a return pass and then passing it back. This exercise has to performed correctly before the next in line can go on their shuttle run.

After passing, get them to practice other skills: heading, side foot volleys etc