Ages: U8s and up
- Utilize 18 yard (penalty) box
- If you don’t have a marked area, make it yourself (18 x 44) (W x L).
Activity and Set up:
- Put a cone on each side of the goal line (about 5-6 yards off of each post).
- Divide players into 2 or 3 teams (if you have more than 8 players it is usually better to go with 3 teams). 12 players is ideal.
- Assuming 3 teams, 1 team defends (they will start behind the two goal line cones), 1 team will retrieve and replace balls, and the other team will be shooting.
- All of the balls need to put outside of the 18 yard box about a yard or 2 off of the line.
- The rules are simple: All attackers must start inside the box. Only 1 attacker may leave to get a ball. As soon as (s)he touches the ball, 1 defender may enter the box to try stop the attacking team from scoring. Only 1 ball and 1 defender are allowed in the box at a time.
- Allow a couple of minutes for players to figure out the rules and rhythms of the game, then give each attacking team 75 second to score as many goals as possible.
- Rotate attacking team to defense, defense to ball retrieval, and ball retrieval to attacking. Repeat as necessary.
Guided Discovery Questions:
- On defense, how do you stop the other team from getting easy shots? (hustle out to the ball/show away from the goal).
- On offense, how do you give yourself the best chance of scoring? (hustle to get the ball, take a quick touch to goal and shoot!).
- On offense, how do we make it harder for the defender to stop us? (spread out – show me what that looks like).
After 5-10 minutes of playing, consider layering in the following progressions:
- Mandate that the ball must be passed into the box before someone can shoot.
- Mandate that once the shooter has taken a shot, he or she must run around the nearest cone (that the defenders are lined up behind). This keeps everybody moving and allows different people to take turns shooting. It also trains the shooter to take his/her first step forward after shooting (good for rebounds).
- Mandate that all shots must be “first time” – means they will have to set up the ball more carefully or do more crosses.
- Allow 2 defenders in at a time.
- Add counterattack gates for the defenders to score through (at the top and corner of each end of the box).