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soccer coaching game to encourage players to support each other

This is an excellent game to encourage young players to support each other, keep the ball for a set number of passes then finish with a shot a goal.

Age range: U9s and upwards.

Difficulty: Medium.

Set-up: Divide your players into teams of three. If you have an odd number, it's OK to have one or two groups of four.

Three teams play in a 30-yard square with a goal at one end.

How to play:

  • Nominate one team as the defenders. The other two teams work together as a group (they are the attackers) and try to keep the ball from the defenders for a set number of passes.

  • Once they have completed the number of passes required (four or five is enough for U9s) they are allowed to shoot at goal.

  • If a player from the attacking group gives the ball away, his team of three becomes the new defenders

Progression: Limit the number of touches the attacking team is allowed.

Coaching notes: If the attackers are struggling with this game, make the area bigger. Conversely, if they are finding it easy, make the area smaller.

You can also make the game easier for the attacking team (and thus encourage more shots on goal) by reducing the number of defenders.

Make the game competitive by playing the game for a set period of time and seeing which team of three can score the most goals.

Look out for and encourage: Good communication, correct spacing, team shape, support play, quick passing and shots on goal.

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


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