Six-ball possession

Good game to work on passing and receiving technique under pressure. Players learn to play away from pressure and to battle to keep possession. Extra pressure due to the clock. Transitions are quick and players are put in game like pressure scenarios. Most importantly this game is FUN!

Set up

You need balls, bibs and cones, in a 20×15 yard grid which is expanded to 20×25 as the session progresses. We used 9 players in the session.

How to play it

You need three teams of 3 players. The coach has 6 balls. When coach serves in the first ball to the attacking team the clock starts and the first defender is allowed to enter the grid. The defender is trying to win the ball and kick it out. The attacking team is trying to keep possession. When the defender clears the ball out of the grid he needs to run to tag the next defender in line who goes to try and win the ball. During that time the coach serves out the second ball to the attacking team. This goes on until all 6 balls have been played in the cleared from the grid. The coach stops the time and lets the attacking team know what their total possession time was for all 6 balls. The other two teams take their turns to try and beat the time in possession. Then try the same session with 2 defenders in a 3v2 and finally try different combinations like 4 attackers versus 3 defenders by mixing the teams up.


The coach is looking to see if players are executing proper technique and making good tactical decisions. How is their first touch? Are they receiving with the most logical foot and which surface of the foot are they using to receive? Are players off the ball getting into good supporting positions in a timely manner? Are players communicating with each other? Are players confident on the ball?

    1. The game starts with a pass into the possession team with the first of six balls and start your watch.
    2. The other two teams line up and go one at a time to pressure the defending team.

    3. Now play the session with defenders working in pairs giving the attackers more pressure.
    4. Make the area slightly bigger so the attackers have more of a chance

    5. Experiment with different numbers try 4 attackers with 3 defenders pressing to see what difference it makes.
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