Keep the prisoner

Keep the prisonerPurpose: To develop defensive techniques, especially closing-down, cover and balance. Also works on passing, receiving and communication skills

Age range: 10-18

Duration: 15 – 25 minutes

Grid size: 50×50 (make smaller to increase pressure)


A large circle approximately 50 yards in diameter is marked around the centre circle with cones. One attacker is restricted to the area inside the centre circle, while his colleagues play six versus three soccer in the outer area.The six attackers play possession soccer and try to finish with a pass to the colleague inside the circle; the three defenders work to prevent them doing this. The defenders can run across and through the inner circle; however, they are not allowed to stop and intercept passes inside this area. Players change over after a set time period.

(a) Initially, do not allow attackers to play the ball above knee-height, but as defenders improve withdraw this restriction. (b) Add more or fewer players, depending on the success of the game. (c) Time each trio of defenders for a given period: the group which concedes the least number of passes wins the game.