Knock out soccer

Objective: to practise passing, shooting, defending, switching play, communication and teamwork.

Set-up: create a large, circular playing area. For 10-year-olds, I suggest the circle is about 40 yards across.

Evenly space three or four goals around the edge of the playing area.

Divide your players into teams of three or four. Goalkeepers are optional.

How to play: three or four teams (depending on how many players you have) play football in the playing area.

Each team has one goal to defend and tries to score in all the others.

Each team starts with five “lives”. If they concede a goal, they lose a life.

If they lose all their lives they are out of the game.

Coaching notes: teams that are knocked out should move to another activity. An assistant coach can work with them, perhaps they can have a keepie uppie contest among themselves or they can play a 2v2 match. It doesn’t matter what they do, but don’t let them just stand around.

Teams will often work together to knock out another team and it’s interesting to see who co-operates with who and which group of players become the targets.

Warning: this is an ultra-competitive game and feelings can sometimes run high! But Knock Out Soccer is great fun and it’s a game that my 11-year-olds ask for time and time again.

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