4 square soccer

Number of players: 4v4 (or 5v5 if you use goalkeepers)

Age group: U10 upwards

Set up: divide a 40×30 grid (with a goal at each end) into four quarters using flat cones or lines.

Assign the following positions to the players in both teams: defender, left midfield player, right midfield player and attacker.

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 20.24.22

How to play: The defender works in the two squares nearest her goal, the left midfield player must stay in the two squares on the left of the grid, the right mid player works in the two squares on the right of the grid and the attacker plays in the two squares nearest the other teams goal. Otherwise, normal soccer rules apply.

Play to a set number of goals or for a set time. You could also award ‘goals’ for a set number of passes.

Tip: encourage quick shooting and tight defending by not having goalkeepers and making the goals big. The younger the players, the bigger the goal should be.

2v2 with 2 neutrals

Screen Shot 2015-08-21 at 20.18.30The X’s and O’s play possession football. They can use the neutrals (the ‘N’s in the diagram) if they are in trouble. The two sides without neutrals on represents the corner of a pitch.

To make the game more competitive you can award a point for completing a set number of consecutive passes (easier) or keeping the ball for a set period (harder).

This routine helps your children to avoid pressure by playing themselves into a corner. It also encourages communication and keeping their heads up.

1. Keep moving

2. Look up often

3. Switch it often

4. Play quick passes

5. Talk A LOT