“World Cup”: Fun Youth Soccer Warmup Activity

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Consistently set this game up as players arrive to practice and you will have players hurrying to your practices, rather than straggling in.

Consistently set this game up as players arrive to practice and you will have players hurrying to your practices, rather than straggling in.

Applicability: This is a great activity that you can set up while players are arriving to practice. Instead of players standing around, get them immediately involved in playing soccer!

Age groups: U8 and up. Possibly could try with U6 group. 

Area: In front of a big goal.

Activity: The coach (or someone you designate) goes in goal and it is “every player for herself” trying to score as many goals as possible. The coach has a supply of balls and serves a new ball in as soon as one goes out of play (or behind the goal). If the coach is the goalkeeper, then just keep the spare balls in the goal. As more people arrive. make teams of 2 or even 3. Give team names (e.g. England, USA, Brazil, etc.). Play first person or team to 3 goals and then mix up the teams and play again.  

Progressions: Put players on touch restrictions (e.g. no more than 3 touches before they have to pass it to a teammate or shoot), when playing in teams, make a “first time finish rule,” or mandate that all players on the team must touch it before a goal can be scored. Add a second ball. If you have access to a second goal, set up another “World Cup” (split by ability).

Coaching Points: 1v1 dribbling skills, shooting under pressure, awareness, speed of play, change of pace and direction, passing skills, combination plays, thinking ahead, communication, anticipation, and finishing skills.

Numbers considerations: This is a great game to play with any numbers up to about 12 players (in which case, I would go with teams of 3 and/or have 2 balls in play at a time).

 

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