INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

Stocking fillers

Ding dong merrily on high, it’s time to inject a little Yuletide spirit into your next training session with this collection of Christmas-themed drills. These festive exercises should being plenty of fun to your end-of-year practice.

What this session is about

  1. An enjoyable final session before the new year.
  2. A “selection box” of different games to enjoy.

What to think about

  • Although this is a Christmas fun session, it is also good to improve team work and build a winning mentality.
  • Points should be awarded for winning each game and the team with the most points wins the session (try to reward these players with a prize).
  • Although each game is named after a Christmas theme, the skills and techniques used in each game (dribbling, turning, teamwork) must be emphasised to the players.
  • An idea is to ask the players to come in Christmas fancy dress and to take part in the session in Santa, elf outfits etc. This will add to the fun and enjoyment of the session.

Set-up

  • Use your whole squad.
  • Use a playing area 30 yards by 20 yards.
Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

  1. Santa Says: Each player has a ball. Santa (that’s you, the coach) shouts out various instructions that the players have to follow, for example, “dribble with your other foot”, “sit on the ball”, “perform a stop turn”, “swap balls with another player” etc.
  2. Christmas Tree Lights: You hold different-coloured disc cones (e.g. red, yellow, green). The players dribble their ball around, and when you raise one of the discs they have to perform a task. E.g. red can represent stopping, yellow can mean perform a turn and green means kick each others’ footballs out of play.
  3. Aiming Snowballs: This time, when you hold a different-coloured cone, the players must try to hit you by kicking their “snowball” (football) at you. Not too hard though!
When players see a coloured cone raised, they perform a task. For example, a turn with the ball.

When players see a coloured cone raised, they perform a task. For example, a turn with the ball.


Development

Christmas Cracker: Use one ball between two players in a playing area about 15 yards by 10 yards. Players face each other with a ball at their feet. Players should grip their opponent’s hand as if shaking hands.

On your signal, players release their grip and attempt to dribble the ball, or “present”, back to their goal line or “under the tree”.

Two players face each other. They grip hands and when instructed, release and try to dribble the ball to their goal line.

Two players face each other. They grip hands and when instructed, release and try to dribble the ball to their goal line.


Game situation

The Snow Flake: Place six cones in a hexagon shape. Moving away from the hexagon, place a “gate” (a pair of cones) 10 yards from each of the hexagon cones.

Two players start at each hexagon cone. Several dribbling relays can be played. Eg. Players take it in turns to dribble a figure of “8” around the gate and then back to their partner or players dribble around the first cone in the gate and back.

Teams of two stand at each cone. They perform a task. For example, dribble a figure of 8 in a race against other teams.

Teams of two stand at each cone. They perform a task. For example, dribble a figure of 8 in a race against other teams.


What to call out

“Dribble with your head up”
“Concentrate on technique”
“Use small steps”

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