Rob the bank!

Objective: To practice dribbling and passing skills.

Age range: U5s to U8s.

Number of players: Whole squad.

Equipment required: Some flat cones, one ball for every two players plus some spares.

Set-up: Create a playing area that is big enough for all your players to dribble in comfortably. For 10 five-year-olds, I would use a 20-yard square.

Create two three-yard squares as “jails”, using flat cones or corner flags just outside the playing area.

Place all the spare balls on one side of the playing area. This is the bank.

Pair up your players and give each pair a ball except for one pair of players who are the policemen.

The policemen stand in the middle of the playing area, facing the rest of the players who wait on the end line opposite the bank.

How to play:

Begin with a story “It’s midnight – we are going to rob a bank… ”

Tell your players that the balls in the bank are worth £1,000 each!

  • On your command, one player from each pair tries to run to the bank, capture a ball and take it back to their starting position.
  • If they get tagged by a policeman, they have to run back to their partner to tag them and let them try to get to the bank.
  • If they get the ball back to their partner without being caught “red handed” by a policeman, they have won £1,000 and their partner tries to get another ball.
  • If they are caught in possession of the ball, they put it back in the bank and go to one of the jails at the side of the grid and perform two or three star jumps before going back to their partner.
  • As soon as all the balls are captured, the pair with the most “money” is the winner.
  • Change the policemen and play again.

Coaching notes

When a player captures a ball, he or she has a decision to make: Do I dribble or pass it back to my partner? Ask your players how they come to their decision.

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