Soccer Pong Ladder
Area: Big open space
Activity: Two players play against each other and share a ball. Two cones are placed anywhere from 2-8 yards apart to make a gate. Players pass back and forth to each other through the gate. The only rules are that the ball must never stop, must always stay on the ground and must go through the gate without touching the cones. Whenever a rule is broken, the other person gets a point. Because of the rule that the ball must never stop, players have to play 1-2 touch and use both feet. The narrower the gate, the closer the pairs are probably going to be. The wider the gate, the more the players will have to move laterally and look more like the old arcade “pong” game.
Coaching points: Ball mastery, appropriate foot surface, weight of pass, movement of feet, thinking ahead (to get into position for the next pass).
Make it into a competition: Make a ladder of gates and play games of 30-45 seconds. The winner moves up the ladder, while the loser moves down the ladder. Break a tie with “rock-paper-scissor.” This is a great introduction to passing and can be used at the beginning of practice to great effect. By making it into a competition, you will drive the players to improve their technique and it’s a whole lot more fun than just standing and passing for no apparent reason!