Players will develop their understanding of:
- running with the ball
- dribbling techniques.
Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan to your device and give it a go.
We’ve based this session on using ten players, but it can be adapted to your numbers.
Set up an appropriately sized area – 30x30 yards is ideal for around ten players.
Then give nine players a ball to run with, while giving the other player a bib to hold.
If you have a large group, split your players into groups of 10 – or as close as possible – and set up as many areas as needed.
How to play
The players with a ball are tasked to dribble within the area you’ve set up. Encourage them to take big touches, small touches and use skills and body movements to protect, hide and manoeuvre the ball.
The player without the ball is the ‘tagger’. They must chase the other players and, when close enough, throw their bib towards the ball. If it makes contact with the ball, they earn a point.
Set a timer for 30 seconds and play this for multiple rounds – swapping the ‘tagger’ each time. When everyone has had a go being the ‘tagger’, the game ends. The player with the most points wins.
It’s important to think carefully about progressions. Learning doesn’t happen straight away, as players will be figuring everything out at first. Constantly changing the game can mean players miss the opportunity to learn. So, give them a chance to have a go at solving the problems they’re facing in this activity.
But, after a while, if you feel your players have cracked it – or that they’re struggling – you could progress the game to alter the difficulty of the challenge.
Whenever you decide to progress the activity, think about using the STEP framework. And however you adapt the session, make sure you keep it fun, highly engaging and appropriate for your players.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, as shown in the graphics towards the top of the page, you could do the following:
Space Make the area smaller to increase the challenge for players running with the ball or alter the shape of the area to change angles of approach.
Task Challenge players with the ball to travel through gates and tally how many they get through.
Equipment Use smaller footballs to help players develop their contact on the ball and give ‘taggers’ a small ball to throw instead of a bib.
Players Increase the number of ‘taggers’ or place players into pairs or threes and give each mini-team a ball.
After you have looked at the session above, ask yourself the following questions:
- How would you adapt or tweak the practice to make it appropriate to your own players?
- What additional challenges could you set to make the practice easier or harder for individuals or your group?
If you use this with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in The FA Community forums.