Inside, outside

This is an effective pre-match soccer warm-up, as well as a good way to improve ball skills in training sessions for players of all ages.

Objective:

To improve passing and receiving skills.

Skill level:

Beginners and upwards.

Number of players:

The whole squad.

Set up:

Create a circular playing area at least 20 yards in diameter. The bigger the area, the harder your players will have to work. Smaller areas will require more skill.

How to play:

Half the players are equally spaced around the edge of the circle with a ball. The other half work inside the circle. On your command, the players in the circle run to a player on the outside, receive a pass and pass back.

Players then run quickly to another player on the outside and repeat.

Play for a minute and then swap roles. Give each team two or three turns as an inside and outside player.

Coaching points:

  • Ask your players to work at pace. They should turn and run quickly.
  • As the inside players approach an outside player, they should call for the ball, loudly.
  • The players on the outside of the circle need to stay on their toes and not let return passes go past them.

Variations:

  • Outside players can hold the ball in their hands and serve it at varying heights and speeds.
  • The players on the inside have a ball each. They dribble to an outside player, pass to them, get a return pass and dribble at speed to another outside player. Repeat.