Overview: Start without the ball first.

The coach is to move around the area with three different colour cones in their hand (red, yellow and green) and each of the players have a ball to dribble with around the area. If the coach holds ‘green’, players have to dribble their ball. If the coach holds ‘yellow/amber’ players have to perform some ball mastery exercises with their ball i.e. toe taps, sole taps etc. Lastly, if the coach holds ‘red’ the players have to stop still with their foot on the ball and keep balanced.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up: As the players are dribbling the ball around the area, they should keep their eyes up to identify the best space for them to move into as well as evading the other players as well. Players should be encouraged to also keep their eyes up to see the cone the coach is holding up to be able to quickly react to whatever colour is being shown.

Use of Both Feet: Encourage players to practice dribbling the ball on both feet. You may need to apply some constraints or challenges for the players to support and encourage them to use both sides for example: every time a colour is held up by the coach, you must change the foot that you are travelling with the ball on.

Surfaces of the Feet: Using different surfaces of the feet such as: laces, outside, inside and sole will help the players explore different ways of manipulating the ball as well as dribbling into the space too. When dribbling, players should try to keep the ball close to their body to allow them to change direction and speed quickly if needed.

Change of Speed: If there is little space for the players as they dribble, they may need to take smaller and slower touches to dribble to evade the other players and move out of the tight space. Alternatively, if there is space in front of them, players should be encouraged to dribble the ball with speed into that area.



Setup a circle with defenders in the middle of the circle without a ball and the attackers based around the outside of the circle with a ball each. The defenders act as ‘sharks’ and have to try and win the ball from the attackers as they try to cross the circle with their ball. If the defenders win the ball, they must dribble the ball outside of the circle and the attacker then joins them and becomes a defender too. Play until there is one player left at the end of the game.

Coaching Points:  

Speed of Approach: The defender in this game should look to move at speed to press their opponent and prevent them having lots of space which they can move into with their ball. Players may need to decide on what player they are pressing too and how they will defend against them as well as prevent other attackers from crossing the circle.

Angle of Approach: Defenders as they approach their attackers should look to angle their approach to show the attacker one way. In this game, players should look to show the attackers onto their weaker foot to help them win the ball from them.

Body Shape: Encourage players when defending 1v1 to ‘shut down, sit down, show down’ throughout the game. Sitting down means getting your knees bent and getting side onto the attacker with your body shape to show them one way. Players should look to pivot off their back foot and keep an arm length away from the attacker, until they are in a position to apply more pressure on them and win the ball and dribble to the outside of the circle.

Win It to Keep It: Encourage defenders to keep the ball once they have won it to allow them to score by dribbling to the outside of the circle. Players that use their body well and look to step across the attacker to come away with the ball once they have won it will be in a better position to score after they’ve won the ball back.



Setup a 25 x 25 area with a goal on either side as well as two teams by each goal. Each player has a ball each. The attacker begins the game by travelling into the pitch with the ball, as soon as they score, they then become a defender. The opposition team then attacks with one player and goes 1v1. If the defender wins the ball back, they can look to score, however, if the attacker scores the defender then must leave the pitch and another attacker from their team then comes out with a ball. Attackers must be in the final third to score. Add goalkeepers as well if you have them too.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up/Scanning: As the attackers enter the pitch, they should keep their eyes up to recognise where the space is but also where the defender is too. Players keeping their eyes up will enable them to be able to see how close/far the defender is away from them as well as the goal which will mean they will have to adapt how they go 1v1.

Ball Manipulation: Players using different surfaces of their feet will help them to manipulate the ball in the area by changing direction with different surfaces of the feet. This will help the attackers to manipulate the ball away from the defenders to avoid being tackled and help them to beat the defender 1v1.

Speed: Players should be ready to adjust their speed when travelling with the ball based on how close/far the defender is away from them. If there is space for the attacker to move into, they should look to take larger touches to get the ball out of their feet and run with the ball into that space.

1 v 1’s: Encourage players to explore different 1v1 skills to help them beat the defender using varying changes of direction, twists and turns as well as body feints to help them get past them. Players should be encouraged to be creative with their 1v1 skills on both feet.


  • The game can be played as a 2 v 2, with two attackers and two defenders attacking at one time. This will encourage players to make decisions of when to pass and when to beat the defender.



Split a pitch into two and organise a goal at opposite ends of either half of the pitch. In each of the goals have a goalkeeper. Attackers have to attack one at a time, leaving the zone and then going 1v1 against the goalkeeper. In this game, all players have multiple lives. If the player in front of you scores and you miss, you lose a life. Play the game with what player can finish with the most amount of lives. Players are only allowed to go one at a time, once they have finished their turn, they then join the opposite half of the pitch.

Coaching Points:

Eyes Up/Scanning: As players enter the area, they should look to keep their eyes up to help them to see the goalkeepers’ position in the goal. As players approach the goal, they should look to finish into an area that the goalkeeper has left space in.

Use of Both Feet: Encourage players in this game to explore finishing with both feet with varying techniques. As players approach, using both feet will enable players to use different types of finishes to help them to score. They may also need to use either foot if they go around the goalkeeper in a 1v1 to help them to get their shot away quickly.

Striking Surfaces: Challenge players to try striking with different surfaces i.e. laces, outside or inside throughout the game. Players will need to select the correct surface to finish with based on position of the goalkeeper, themselves, distance and angle from the goal.

1v1s: Players may need to use a variety of 1v1 skills to help them to beat the goalkeeper or to allow them to change direction quickly too. A 1v1 skill may help players to move the ball onto one side of the pitch so that they can finish on another side instead.

Progressions: (6-7pm Kirby)

  • Add a score zone in front of each goal that players cannot enter to score. This will encourage players to get shots away from distance.