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soccer coaching game focusing on dribbling the ball

This is a game called "Musical chairs" that I use with children aged from five to about 11.

It's good as a warm-up or you can use as part of a soccer session that focuses on dribbling the ball. It's fast, fun, competitive, easy to explain and easy to play.

Number of children: Six to 16.

Equipment required: Twenty or so flat cones and a ball for each soccer player.

Set-up: Create two concentric circles with your flat cones. The inner circle should be big enough for all your players to dribble around comfortably. The outer circle should be between 10 yards away from the inner circle (for six-year-olds) and 20 yards (for 11-year-olds).

Players have a ball each.

How to play: All the players dribble inside the inner circle.
  • On your command of "cone!" they leave their ball, run round one of the cones in the outer circle, go back to their ball and start dribbling again.
  • Repeat two or three times.
  • Then remove one of the balls while they are running to the outer circle of cones.
  • The player who doesn't get a ball on his return has to complete a small forfeit (such as running around the inner circle) before being given his ball back.
  • Repeat several times.

Coaching points: encourage young players to dribble with their heads up and try not to bump into each other.
Include commands such as "turn left/right", "stop" and "go" before calling "cone!" Older players can be asked to perform a move such as a stepover.

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