Tic tac toe

This session is all about using soccer brains to solve the tic tac toe game then getting a ball and score in the goal. Lots of coaching points but it is the efforts of the players to win the game that works best.

Why use it

Great game for reactions with attacking and defending principles in the session.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. The area is marked by 3 lines of 3 cones (9 in all), three yards apart. You need four teams of 3 players with 2 teams active.

How to play it

Two teams start out facing each other at opposite ends towards the cones in the centre. On a signal from the coach, both teams set off to enter the coned area, aiming to get 3 players in a line whether diagonally, horizontally or vertically. The teams cannot ‘connect 3’ using the row of cones closest to them in the grid. However, once they progress past the first row of cones, they can then use all possible combinations. Simultaneously a team can also try and prevent the opposition from creating a line of 3, by pausing on a cone, to break the ‘connect’ chain. The practice continues until one team does achieve the “3 in a line”.
It is then that the successful team receives a ball from the coach, one player runs wide and then crosses the ball for the other two to try and score in the goal against a goalkeeper.


Players need to think about the angle and distance of support.

Connect 3

    1. Players work in threes and try to make a three in a row diagonally or vertically
    2. Players cannot form a line on the nearest set of cones they must look to get past the first row then form a line

    3. When racing to create a three in a row the opposition must make sure they take note and try to get to the cone first to stop it
    4. Once the team has made the connect 3 they now attack the goal 10 yards away

Connect 3

    5. The coach plays a ball into the three players who have then got 15 seconds to score
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