Academy Level 1: A Fun Awareness Warm-up for Improving Peripheral Vision

Each player has a ball to play with. They must protect their own soccer ball but at the same time try to kick someone else’s ball out the area. When your ball is kicked out you cannot kick anyone else’s ball out. You can vary the game by allowing them chances, maybe up to three each before they are ultimately out of the game. When they are out have them juggle the ball to keep practicing skills.

Play until the last player is left with their own ball still and everyone else’s ball has been kicked out. This player is the winner. Variations can be you have three areas of play they can work in. They start in one then if they are kicked out they go to the next and so on, this way they get two chances but also you can have two winners in each group with an overall winner at the end. Or you can just decrease the area they are playing in to make it harder as there is less space to work in.

Coaching Points:

  1. Skills practice including Dribbling and Turning,    
  2. Shielding,                                                                                                                       
  3. Tackling,                                                                                                                        
  4. Awareness of where other players are (in this case all the other players are defenders trying to win possession of your ball) whilst maintaining possession of the ball ensuring players are looking around away from their own ball,       
  5. Anaerobic Fitness work. These are practices that are fun but ensure relevant skills are practiced by the players.

This is a session that is fun but ensures relevant skills are practiced by the players.

Kick Out Game

There are 12 players in this session, 9 with a ball, 3 without. The 3 without have to try and win a ball off a player with a ball and kick it out the area. If a player has their soccer ball kicked out then they can join in with the other players helping them keep possession by passing and support play.

To make this competitive rotate the players so different groups of 4 work together, time each group to see who does the best. 

To decrease the time it takes if the defenders can win a ball and pass it to the coach (who is constantly moving around outside the area) for example 3 times out of the 9 balls won, then the clock stops. This represents winning the ball and keeping possession in a game rather than kicking it out of play and losing possession again in a game. It may be the first 3 balls the defenders win. 

Then have it where they need to get all the balls to the coach, a bigger more relevant challenge and have the coach moving around the area.

The session develops from an individual 1 v 1 attacking / defending work out to a passing and support situation. You can work on the defenders by encouraging them to work as a team, maybe in 2’s for instance to have a better chance of winning the soccer balls. The defenders can pass the ball around between themselves until one can find the coach with a pass. Attackers during this time can try to win it back before it goes out the area.