AROUND THE WORLD
Materials: Balls, Cones
For this drill, you must set up a square, and have at least five players inside the square. The first time you do the exercise you can make the square approximately 15 x 15 meters; as you get to learn the players’ abilities you can adjust the size of the square.
One player starts in the middle, and the other four each stand by one of the square’s lines. It is important that they are INSIDE the lines.
The action of the game is that the players along the four sides must pass the ball to each other, while the player in the middle must try to steal it. If the player in the middle steals it, they go out and the person who made the ‘bad’ pass becomes the person in the middle. If someone makes a wild pass and goes outside of the square, the person who made the bad pass comes in to chase, and the person in the center goes out. If a very good pass is made, but a receiver makes no effort to meet the ball and it is stolen by the person in the centre, the Playmaker may use a judgement call and decide that since the pass was good, only the lazy receiver switches into the middle.
If there are more or less than five players that you need to work with, there are several variations that you can do. For example, playing 4 v. 2 instead of 4 v. 1; or 3 v. 1 or 5 v. 2. You might also think about changing the shape from square to circle, triangle, or rectangle; this is forcing a different kind of movement even when a player does not have the ball. A Playmaker can also add rules to make it more challenging for the outside players, for example: only one-touch on the ball (this is, the receiving and the passing are all in one kick).
This drill trains both offensive and defensive skills for all players.
COACHING KEY POINTS
– First touches
– Good passes
– Movement (off the ball)
– Movement (off the ball)
SPORTS SKILLS OUTCOME
– The drill works the players’ ball control, and their first touch on the ball will be very consequential for whether or not their next pass will be a good one, since they will be under pressure. The better the pass to the teammate, the better the next teammate will be able to continue the ball forward.
– This drill trains the players’ skills with possession and fast-thinking, as they must quickly receive the ball, and hold until they figure out which is the best place to pass it. However, they will quickly find that they are under pressure from the person in the middle trying to steal the ball – so they will need to decide quickly.
– This drill trains the players on defense, as those in the middle must move around and put pressure on the ball. If there are two players in the middle, they must communicate so that one attacks the ball and one blocks angles to which the ball can be played.
LIFE SKILLS OUTCOME
This exercise develops teamwork and communication, as the ‘teams’ work together to reach a common goal: either to hold possession of the ball for the outside players, or to steal the ball for the inside players (if there are two defending together). The kids learn that working together and communicating with each other makes it easier for them to achieve their shared goals, which they can take on in other areas of life and contexts.