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England DNA 5-11: staying on the ball

    This session encourages your players to be creative in possession, allowing them to come up with new ways of maintaining the ball under pressure.


    The game starts with yellow and blue bibbed players paired up in two areas, with a small space between both sections. In one area, marked with yellow cones, every yellow bibbed player has a ball with blue defenders trying to get it. In the other area, marked with blue cones, the opposite happens.

    session plan graphic

    How to play

    The game starts and each pair plays 1v1. Players with the ball in both areas can keep possession by dribbling, turning and shielding in order to stay on the ball.

    The player without the ball in each area must gain possession, without kicking the ball out, and then take the ball into the other area.

    To win the game, a side must get the ball off of their opponents and take it back to their zone, whilst having their teammates who started with a ball, staying in possession in the same area. This will result in all the yellow bibs being within the yellow cones or all the blue bibs being within the blue cones at the end of the game.

    It’s important to make both areas big enough to accommodate all of your players. The space between them can be increased to allow for more travelling with the ball.

    DNA Key message

    As well as encouraging creative thinking in possession, this practice idea is also great for introducing defending. To be successful you have to challenge for and win possession, as well as taking the ball back to your area


    To learn more about Foundation Phase DNA, click here.

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