This small-sided game, called “Two ball soccer”, will improve your players’ ability to keep the ball as a team. To succeed, they will need to support each other, communicate effectively and pass the ball accurately.
It will also improve their ability to play with their heads up and press their opponents quickly and effectively.
Age range: U8s to U14s.
Number of players: 3v3 (for eight to 10-year-olds) up to 6v6 (11 to 14-year-olds).
Equipment required: Some flat cones to mark out the playing area, four balls, training vests.
Set-up: Create a quarter pitch size playing area, e.g. 20×15 yards for eight-year-olds, 40×30 yards for 14-year-olds.
Divide your players into the appropriate size teams and give them training vests to aid identification.
Each team is given one ball.
How to play:
- Both teams attempt to maintain possession of their ball and, at the same time, try to capture their opponent’s ball.
- When a team has possession of both balls, the game is stopped and the team in possession is awarded one point.
- The captured ball is returned to the team without possession and the game restarts.
- Play for a set time or the first team to X points wins the game.
Note: If your players struggle to maintain possession of the ball, add a neutral player who supports either team or add two “safe zones” – small, coned-off areas where a player under pressure can take the ball and stay for up to five seconds without being tackled.
Increase the intensity of the game by reducing the size of the playing area.
Reduce the number of touches. Three-touch for younger players, two (or even one-touch) for older players.
Add two more balls. Now each team must keep and try to steal two balls. Award a point when one team possesses three balls.
Younger players can play Two Ball Soccer as a tag game. If the player in possession is tagged the ball goes to the opposition.
For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.