Get your head up!

Objective

Younger players will learn why they need to keep their heads up when they have the ball. At the end of the game, they will also have practised turning with the ball and they will understand when to push the ball ahead of them and run after it and when to keep it close to their feet.

Set-up

This is a very simple game to organise and to play.

All you need to do is cone off an area about 20 yards square.

Your players line up a long two sides of the square with a ball each.

How to play

On your command, players dribble across the area towards the opposite cone, turn and dribble back. Then stop with their foot on the ball.

Coaching points

To begin with, watch your players dribble across and back without any instruction or guidance from you.

Note which players keep their head up to avoid collisions.

And how do they move the ball – do they keep it close or push it ahead and run after it?

After a minute or two ask the players why they need to keep their heads up while they dribble across the grid.

Then ask them to have another go.

Next, demonstrate the difference between keeping the ball close and pushing it ahead and running after it.

Ask: Which is the quickest way to get across the grid?

Now make the game competitive. See who can get across the grid and back five times in the shortest time.

Progression

Use this game to practise the different ways to turn with the ball.

For young ones, a simple drag back turn is probably the easiest. Older players could try the inside hook.

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