Arrival activity - space invaders:
- As players arrive, they can choose their group of three.
- Players start passing and moving in one of the small grids.
- The receiving player must take the ball to a ‘free’ corner.
- After approximately one minute, nominate a player to call ‘change’; two players leave the area to form new groups of three, while the player with ball remains and is joined by two new players.
- Progression after week one could be a 2v1 practice.
Four-goal game (whole):
- Play 4v4/5v5 games – players will need two areas.
- Organise the areas next to each other with a safety channel separating them.
- Each team has two goals to score in.
- Teams are awarded one point for passing through a gate and two points for running with the ball through a gate.
2v1/2v2 game (part):
- Groups of three or four depending on numbers in session.
- Use the areas already marked on the pitch with cones and spots.
- The player on the ball passes to their teammate, who then tries to travel with the ball to the side marker spot for one point or the end line for two points.
- If the defender(s) win the ball, they pass or travel through a cone gate to score.
- When playing 2v2, the recovering defender joins in after the opposition player receives the ball from their teammate.
End game: (whole)
- Continue 4v4/5v5 games.
- Explore why the pitch has three channels.
- To score:
- One point for passing through a gate.
- Two points for running with the ball through a gate.
- Double points if switched from channel one to three or vice-versa and leads to a goal.
Top tips for developing receiving skills
Use ‘ABC’ as a means of helping your players to remember the key concepts of receiving skills: awareness, body position and control.
Praise Praise their performance when they demonstrate one or more of the above: remember 90% of children play better with positivity.
Plan Plan additional FA four corner detail around each concept for those players who are ready to learn faster:
- A – check shoulders to see what is around/behind you. Scan once on the ball to see what your options are.
- B – when side-on make good decisions to receive or turn. Technique for front foot/back foot receiving.
- C – develop techniques for controlling away from danger/pressure. Judge weight of pass to help with decision-making.
Effective questioning Develop their understanding and performance through effective questioning. Drive-by interventions work well here so that the game can keep running as you support individual players. Examples might include:
- “Well done, Grace! Can you tell me what you did well when you received the ball?”
- “Great play Oliver! What was really good about your control when you received that pass before dribbling?”
Manage the difference within your group by using the STEP principle: Space/shape, task, equipment, players. Examples might include:
- Space/shape – use a narrower area for those ‘forging ahead’ to make receiving more demanding.
- Task – in the ‘four-goal game’, one point for passing through the gated goal, two points for running the ball through it.
Allow ‘free play’ to see what they’ve understood and what they can apply in game-related situations; this is also another opportunity to offer praise by ‘catching them in’ rather than ‘catching them out.’