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England DNA 5-11: run around

    This session uses all your players in one big group – which is great, because it increases the opportunity for social learning.

    During the activity, children see how teammates complete the task and can use this information to change their own behaviour. The game also involves one of your players acting as a ‘leader’ – a key part of social development.


    1. Set up a square area.
    2. Place four different coloured cones outside the square (one on each side).
    3. Give each player a ball.
    4. Assign a ‘leader’.

    England DNA 5-11: run around session plan

    As with all our sessions, you can tailor the size of your area – and the number of players – to suit your team’s ability.

    How to play

    Start by getting your players to practice ball mastery within the area. This could include dribbling using their left (or right foot) only, increasing their dribbling speed or turning when they meet another player.

    Explain to your team that, whilst they complete this task, they need to remain aware of what’s going on around them. At some point, the leader will run around a cone – and the whole team needs to follow.

    Once they’ve circled the cone, players should return to the area and continue with the ball mastery task… until the leader moves again. When this happens (and how often) is entirely up to the individual who’s been assigned this role. However, if your players aren’t ready for this responsibility, you can act as the leader instead.


    There are a number of simple ways to increase the complexity of this session:

    • Split your players into two teams and, on your signal (or a leader’s), get each team to run round a different coloured cone
    • Encourage the leader to test the team by calling out a cone to run round, e.g. “Red!”, before actually running round a different cone all together.

    To learn more about Foundation Phase DNA, click here.

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