Fox in the box

This game encourages players to shoot from a distance and to follow up on their shots. It is suitable for players aged from about eight or nine upwards.

Set up: This game is played on a short, wide pitch. For U10s, I would use a playing area 30 yards wide and 20 yards long.

Place a goal on both ends of the playing area and mark out a halfway line with flat cones.

How to play:

Set up a small-sided game of 5v5.

Each team has three defenders, one attacker and a goalkeeper.

The three defenders start the game in their own half and cannot go over the halfway line. The attacking players start in their opponent’s half of the pitch and they can’t cross the halfway line either. So each team has three defenders and one attacker who play in opposite halves of the pitch.

Key soccer coaching notes: The can’t cross the halfway line clause encourages the defensive players to take shots on goal from their own half of the pitch (remember, they are only 10 yards away from their opponent’s unguarded goal) and attacking players should follow up on the defenders’ shots in the hope of getting a touch or taking advantage of a fumble by the goalie.