soccer coaching game encouraging quick decisions on the pitch

The End Zone game is great for encouraging young players to find a place on the pitch where they can receive a pass, get out of defenders' "shadows", support each other and make quick decisions as well as rewarding accurate passing and good ball control.

Age range: U8s and upwards.

Difficulty: The objective of the game is easy to understand for even very young players. Successful execution, however, requires a degree of skill but, as with all football coaching games, you can make the End Zone game easier by making the playing area bigger or reducing the number of players in the playing area.

Set-up: Create a 40 yards long by 30 yards wide playing area with a five-yard wide channel at each end marked out with flat cones. These are the end zones.

Divide your players into teams of five or six.

How to play:
  • Start by allocating a target end zone to each team.
  • Each team scores a "goal" by dribbling or passing the ball from their target end zone to the opposite end zone.

Note: Tackling is not allowed in end zones.

The first team to score five "goals" wins the game.

Progression: Put a neutral player or players in the end zones. Now the ball cannot be dribbled into an end zone, it must be passed to a neutral player who has to control the pass for a "goal" to count.

The neutral player returns the ball to the team that passed to them so that they can attack the other end zone. 

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