Treasure hunt

Objectives: To improve dribbling and defending skills.

Age range: U5s to U8s.

Number of players: Twelve (but can be easily adjusted for larger or smaller numbers)

Equipment required: Flat cones, at least 10 to 15 balls.

Set-up: Divide your players into two, uneven teams. For five and six-year-olds, 8v4 or 9v3 are appropriate. If your players are older or more experienced, make the teams more even.

Set up a 20-yard square with a line of six flat cones at one end.

Balance a ball on top of these cones. These balls are the treasure.

The team with the most players are the attackers. They line up at the end of the playing area furthest from the treasure. Each attacker has a ball.

The team with fewest players are defenders. They line up just in front of the treasure, facing the attackers.

How to play:

On your command, the attackers dribble towards the treasure.

Their objective is to get past the defenders, kick their ball at the treasure and knock it off the cones.

If an attacker succeeds she picks her treasure up and carries it back to their end of the playing area while dribbling her ball.

If an attacker is tackled by a defender or allows their ball to go out of the playing area, she must go back to the starting point and try again.

When all the treasure is stolen, change the teams around.

Coaching Points:

Keep the ball close and in control.

Dribble with your head up so you can see where the defenders are.

Push your ball past a defender and explode past them with pace.

If the defenders find the game too easy, make the playing area bigger and/or decrease the number of defenders.

Variation: Allow defenders to put displaced treasure back onto the cones.

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