soccer coaching game for ball control

Objective: This game, called Blob Tag, encourages young football players to dribble the ball with their heads up and keep good, close control of the ball.

Age group: U5s to U10s.

Set-up: Create a 30-yard square playing area. All players except three have a ball.

How to play: All the players are inside the square. The three without a ball form a "blob" by holding hands.

The blob moves freely in the grid and tries to kick any player's ball out of the area.

If a player's ball leaves the grid (either by being kicked out by the blob or because the player loses control of it) he/she joins the blob.

The last player dribbling is the winner.

Tip: Long chains are difficult for the players to control so when the blob gets to six players in length, break it into two "mini blobs".

Coaching points

"Stay away from the blob" - that's the purpose of the game.

"Don't get trapped" - move into space away from the blob.

"Keep control of the ball" - don't kick it too far away.

"Work together" - the blob must work as a team. Players have to stay together when kicking balls out of the grid.

Progression: Change the size of the square to make it easier for dribblers (a bigger area) or harder (a smaller square).

Break blobs into two players each (harder for dribblers).

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.