soccer coaching game keep it on the deck

This warm-up soccer drill and game are designed to encourage your players to keep the ball on the ground rather than hoofing it upfield.

Equipment: apart from the usual cones and bibs (pennies), you should play the warm-up and the game with a small, low bounce ball.

A futsal will do but a futbol de salao is ideal. If you can't get hold of either, play with a size two or three ball that is slightly deflated.

Warm-up: split your squad into groups of four or five. Put each group in an area that has a number of flat cones spread randomly in it. There should be more cones than players and the cones should be about 10ft apart.

Players pass and immediately run to a spare cone. 

Coaching points: emphasise fast movement, good accuracy and appropriate pace of pass. Challenge the groups to continue for three minutes without making an error or allowing the ball to leave their playing area.

The game: play 4v4 on a small pitch with a goal at each end. Make it a condition that passes have to made with the side of the foot only and goals only count if the ball crosses the goal line on the ground.

Progression: play 5v3 in the same area. The five players have to put together three passes on the ground before they can shoot. The three players can shoot as soon as they win the ball. 

Coaching points: emphasise that shots must be on the ground to count. If a player kicks the ball in the air, possession is given to the other team.