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Here the attacking player can make a run and the zone allows them to lose their marker. If players struggle to keep possession in a small sided game this is one way to help them and thus have them relax on the ball, knowing they cannot be tackled.
Insist on good timing of the run to coincide with the ball entering the safe zone so players do not go in there and stand still and wait, as this would not happen in a game.
Develop: Man marking so the only real way to guarantee to be free if the defending is really good is to get into the free zone.
Several Safe Zones
It can be several safe zones and can be different shapes and sizes of zone. Vary the rules as you see fit. Take the goals away and just have it as a possession game. Include an overload (as previously shown) where there is a free player or even two free players so it is always a 3 v 2 or 4 v 2 with the team in possession of the ball.
This will help maintain possession of the ball and to go with the free zones this should make it easier to be successful in keeping the ball AND THUS GIVE THE PLAYERS MORE CONFIDENCE.
Progressions: Only the free players can enter the free zones, only the regular team players can enter the free zones, OR the free players can’t, OR all the players on the attacking team can enter the free zones. You can play around with this idea. You can vary the number of touches of certain players so some have to play faster.
OR: Have it free play, as many touches as you like; but reward them for a successful one or two touch pass. This means when they need to dribble or turn with the ball they can, but also they are rewarded for quicker thinking and decision making by playing quickly with one and two touch play.