Under arrest

This game is a great way to improve your players’ marking skills.

It also helps your players learn how to get away from a marker and make space for themselves as well reinforcing the need for a good first touch.

Age range: U8s and upwards.

Set-up: two teams of four play in an area 30 yards long by 20 yards wide with a goal at each end.

How to play: outfield players choose (or are assigned) an opponent who they have to mark and who marks them when their team does not have the ball.

Tell your players: they can only be tackled by the player who is marking them and that player is the only player who they can tackle.

This encourages players to find space and pass the ball to a team mate who has managed to get away from their marker.

Play for a set time. Five minutes is probably enough – this is a tiring game, both physically and mentally.

Progression: add a spare player who plays for the team in possession. This further encourages your players to find and use a player who is not being marked.

This game is from Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds.

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