This warm up is a great way to get players alert to one touch play and to get them ready for playing matches and keeping possession of the ball in tight areas of the pitch like the penalty area MORE
Start games strongly
What I love about my U9s team is that when I come out to warm them up before a match they are all ready and sitting there waiting for me… with a cheer they all descend on the bag of training balls and start warming themselves up.
Of course there is always a cheeky one who gets out the match ball and starts playing with it … until I remind them it isn’t a warm up ball! But they are ready which is a massive boost when I need them to concentrate on the match ahead. They know I will want 5 minutes of individual ball skills, then react when I ask them to get into a Rondo.
This will all take up about 20 minutes of warming up for the game. Add in a few minutes where we chat about the game, about the weather, about the pitch and that is them prepped for starting the game quickly.
Last week we played a cup game where one of my wingers scored a hat-trick in the first 7 minutes. Ready to play? You bet!
Make sure you have some warm-ups to get your players fired up for matches, like these four favourites of mine:
One of the best warm-ups for eager younger players is Bib pull-away. It’s simple to set up and great for young players who have energy to harness. Plus, it focuses young minds on individual responsibility within a team.
One of my go-to warm-ups is One touch passing. It’s ideal on match day as it gets players moving the ball quickly and with purpose as soon as they get onto the pitch.
For a more elaborate warm-up, Chase the cones is a great problem-solving activity that will energise brains and bodies. I saw this game used by Real Madrid at a training session before an important game, so I know it works. Check it out because it’s good fun for older players.
Finally, for a focused goal-scoring session, Total finishing warm-up gets pairs of strikers to combine and create chances for each other in the penalty area. It is great for technique as well as the movement. Use this warm-up to make sure your strikers are switched on in the final third of the pitch.