EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Pre-season training – Zidane challenge

Zinédine Zidane set up a challenge for the players of the youth tournament the Danone Nations Cup. Get your players to try this one and see if they can beat the 20 seconds that it took Zidane.

Why use it

This challenge from football legend Zinédine Zidane is a technical workout that should be done as fast as players’ skills allow. It helps young players when running with the ball and beating players in matches. Watch him run the circuit n the video on page x.

Set up

We have used half of our normal pitch. You need balls, cones or poles, a couple of hurdles and a goal. The goal is full sized at the penalty area. It is an individual session so use as many players as you want.

How to play

Players need a ball and must weave through the poles, play the ball through the hurdles, dribbling around the cones in the middle, and do a skilful turn at the final cone before shooting into the net. Use at least three or four players so they can rest at the end of each circuit. They should do three circuits each.

Technique

This is a challenge – and the challenge is to get the ball around the circuit and into the net as quickly as possible using skill. It is a fun way to get players to try skills they may not be confident of using and it helps them to get used to doing the skills in a match.

zinedine zidane challenge

    1. Set up the session using poles, cones and small hurdles in half a pitch

Zidane challenge

    2. This is an individual time challenge so players should go one at a time. Use a stopwatch to time them.

Zidane Challenge

    3. To turn around the last pole the player must do a skill, like an inside or outside hook
    4. The final action is to shoot into the net and get back to the start
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