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Mastering the ball: through the gates

    Use this session to encourage your players to stay on the ball in challenging circumstances, which will test their decision-making skills in and out of possession.

    Organisation

    An area is set out (different shapes and sizes can be used) with mini gates placed around the area to dribble through. Players are placed in pairs - the more players you have in the area, the more chaos and decisions will occur through the practice.

    A session plan graphic showing a practice revolved around players running through 'gates' with the ball.

    How to play

    Each pair decides who starts with the ball. This player then dribbles off whilst their teammate counts to five. Once the count gets to five, the other player can begin the chase and try to steal the ball. If they’re successful, the roles will reverse, so that each player gets a turn chasing the ball and dribbling with it.

    The player who is dribbling with the ball is trying to score points by dribbling through a gate but only if it’s empty and no other “pair” is going through it. This is quite challenging as it means the player is looking away from the ball at their feet, so be patient and provide lots of opportunities to practise.

    Progression

    To move this session forward, create gates with different coloured cones so that players have to travel to different gates in a set order whilst dribbling the ball.


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