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soccer coaching warm-up game to improve listening and watching

This is a short warm-up game that you can use with any age of player, it is called "Rattle" (named after the great English conductor, Sir Simon Rattle).

In it, you are a conductor and your players, who are the orchestra, must concentrate and pay close attention to what you are saying or doing.

How to play Rattle

All your players stand facing you in a semi-circle or straight line. They should be about 10 yards away.

Their objective is to listen (and watch) for instructions and carry them out immediately.

Call sequences such as:
  • Sidestep left
  • Sidestep right
  • Jump
  • Touch the grass
  • Run on the spot
  • Run forwards
  • Run backwards

Commands should start slowly then increase in tempo until you're changing the instruction every two or three seconds.

Variation

Make some of your instructions visual rather than spoken. Point to your left or at the ground instead of saying "go left" or "touch the grass".

Stand in front of your players, perform the moves and tell your players to copy what you do. Then ask them to do the opposite: if you sidestep left, they sidestep right.

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