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soccer warm-up for ball movement and team support

Try this soccer warm-up to coaching sessions with all ages of players - from six to 16 - and they will all love it! It is called Handball.

Young children really like playing games that involve adults and as there's no physical contact in Handball, mums and dads can join in too. I've found that mixing mums/dads and players in games like this is good for team bonding and makes for a good, fun start to a session.

Objective: improving off the ball movement, support play, quick passing and communication.

Set-up: Handball is played in teams of four to six on a small football pitch with a goal at each end. About 30 yards long by 20 yards wide is good for 10-year-olds.

Put your teams in bibs (pennies) to aid identification.

How to play

Points are scored by throwing the ball into the other team's goal.

Alternatively, teams score by throwing the ball to a team mate who is stationed on an end line.

The rules
  • Players can only pass the ball by throwing it.
  • Once a player receives the ball they cannot run with it. They must stand still and look for the next pass.

Tip: allow very young children to take a limited number of steps with the ball.

  • The team not in possession can only win the ball by intercepting a pass or picking up a dropped ball - no grabbing the ball out of a player's hands!

  • If the ball goes out of the playing area award a throw-in to the opposing team.

  • Physical contact is penalised by a penalty throw from a spot about 10 yards out from the goal.


  1. Players must pass the ball in less than four seconds. If they don't, the ball is given to the other team.
  2. Take the goals away and place a player from each team on the end lines. The objective is now to pass the ball - with feet - to your team mate on the end line. If you can make a successful pass, you join your team mate on the line.

    The first team to get all their players on their end line is the winner.

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


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