INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

One man army

Improve your players’ close control skills with these easy-to-set-up drills which place the emphasis on the individual. Each player can become a “one man army” if he can keep the ball away from opponents.

What this session is about

  1. Dribbling with the ball.
  2. Improving close control and retaining possession.
  3. Shielding the ball from opponents.

What to think about

Dribbling – keep the ball within playing distance. Use the inside/outside of both feet. Take quick, small steps. Keep the head up.

Shielding – keep the body and legs between the ball and opponent. Be side-on to the opponent. Use a crouched, but balanced, body position with the arms out. Control the ball with foot farthest from opponent. Use the outside and soles of feet. Remain strong throughout.

Set-up

Use the centre circle. Place eight cones, an equal distance apart, 10 yards outside of the centre circle to create an outer circle. Use eight players or increase/reduce the number of cones and balls you use depending on how many players you have.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Each player has a ball and dribbles at jogging pace inside the inner circle.

The players perform a command that you shout out at regular intervals, such as: “dribble at full speed”, “turn” (the players perform a turn), “all right/left foot”, “step over’ (do a step over) and “cross” (cut across to the other side of the inner circle avoiding other players).

To progress, players dribble their ball within the inner circle without bumping into each other. Give commands as before but add, “break out”, where the players dribble at pace around one cone in the outer circle and back again.

It is one player per cone, so each player must find an unused cone. The first player back to the centre with their foot on the ball wins.

Players each dribble a ball in the inner circle and perform a skill on your command.

Players each dribble a ball in the inner circle and perform a skill on your command.


Development

Using seven balls, form a small circle in the centre of the inner circle. The players run around within the inner circle and on command take control of a ball by placing a foot on it.

The player without a ball has 30 seconds to steal possession from one of the others, who must dribble and shield it. Repeat the drill when time is up or if the player wins possession.

To progress, players with a ball can kick other players’ footballs out of the area. Players with a ball in the circle after one minute get a point.

In the progression, when you shout “break out”, each player has to dribble the ball around an outside cone and back.

In the progression, when you shout “break out”, each player has to dribble the ball around an outside cone and back.


Game situation

Play 4v4 in a 30-yard square with five “gates” (five pairs of cones) in random parts of the area.
Teams score points when their players dribble through the gates.

In a 4v4 game, players earn points for dribbling the balls through various, random gates.

In a 4v4 game, players earn points for dribbling the balls through various, random gates.


What to call out

  • “Keep the ball close”
  • “Be light on your feet”
  • “Head up”
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