Bang! Steal the Bacon

Help your players cope with the physical side of soccer!


Set up a scrimmage in what we affectionately call the “pressure cooker”. This is a small field (really little more than 2 penalty areas) with full-sized goals at each end. Play a “game” called Bang. This “game” is just like a regular scrimmage, but with some important and drastic restrictions.

First, when a player receives a ball, they cannot carry it. They have to shield the ball until they can pass it to a teammate. The only way to advance the ball is to pass it.

Only 1 defender can challenge for the ball, and the only way the ball can be won is to push the ball holder off the ball with a shoulder charge. This really becomes a physical game.

Steal the Bacon

This is a good game to play at almost any age below U12. It is a simple 1 v 1 game where players are divided into two teams. Each player is given a number.

The coach calls out a number (or sometimes two) and then throws a football into the air that the players have to gain control of.

Since we are teaching aggressiveness and shoulder charging, use the same restriction that we had above in BANG, i.e. no tackling. The player must be relieved of the ball with a shoulder charge.

If you have a meek player that never challenges, handicap the better player by either restricting her run at the ball so the meeker player gets there first or by playing the air ball closer to the meeker player so the more aggressive player has further to run.