INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Christmas champions

It’s that time of year when you can give your players a fun session before the Christmas break. This will help the unity of your team and improve your players’ skills at the same time.

What this session is about

  1.  Expressing yourself.
  2.  Playing with a smile on your face.
  3.  Using skills to score goals.

What to think about

The last session before the Christmas break is a great time to have fun, enjoy the last session and send your players away with a smile on their face. In youth football, a good way of doing this is to play games.

All young players love the competitive edge of games where they can compete with their friends in order to gain points for their team. Adding additional points for players who are willing to try outrageous skills or tricks to express their ability is also a good way of motivating players.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
15 minutes10 minutes10 minutes10 minutes15 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split your squad into three teams for the entire training session. Each team nominates a server.

The server places three balls on cones and holds another ball in his hands. The server now stands behind the cones and throws a serve to one team mate at a time. Team mates try to head the ball and knock the balls from the cones and be declared the winning team.

To progress, use volleys to knock the balls off the cones rather than headers. Or use first-time passes to knock the balls off the cones.

A server (S) supplies team mates with a throw which is used to knock balls off cones through headers, volleys and first-time passes.

A server (S) supplies team mates with a throw which is used to knock balls off cones through headers, volleys and first-time passes.


Development

The three teams try to score in their opponents’ goals while protecting their own.

The three teams try to score in their opponents’ goals while protecting their own.


Game situation

Put all three teams into an area with a goal at each end, as shown in the bottom picture.

Two teams play against each other while the other team is used as goalkeepers and neutral players. (In our example, we are using three players in each team but you may be able to use more.)

Neutral players can play anywhere on the pitch or on the outside as wide players to provide crosses towards goal. They play for the team in possession.

Games are played for five minutes. Each team plays two games and a game as the neutrals/ goalkeepers.

You can add various rules to the game in order to increase the intensity and fun for the players. Examples of these rules are:

  • Double goals – you can blow a whistle with one minute to go in the game and all goals in this minute are worth two goals.
  • Weak foot goals – all goals scored with a player’s weaker foot counts as double.

Add up all the wins and goals to find out which team is the Christmas champions.

Two teams play while the third team is used as goalkeepers and neutral players who play for the team in possession.

Two teams play while the third team is used as goalkeepers and neutral players who play for the team in possession.


What to call out

Each team nominates one player to start as its goalkeeper, as in the middle picture.

You, or an assistant, pass a ball into the circle.

The game commences with teams competing to score in either opponent’s goal and at the same time, defending their own goal.

After each goal is scored, the three teams quickly swap their goalkeepers for an outfield player.

The goalkeeper of the team conceding the goal restarts the game with a pass. The team which scores most goals wins.

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