Alligator rivers

This session helps players brush up on their passing, their runs off the ball, dribbling and close range finishing.

Set up

Set up an area of 50×30 yards with five-yard end zones filled with cones. Goals are a further five yards outside the area. We’ve used 10 players in this session plus a coach as server – if you have odd numbers, use a floater inside the main area. You need lots of cones, balls, bibs and two goals.

How to play it

Inside the main area teams try to keep possession until they see the opportunity to dribble through the river at either end. If they get through the river without hitting a cone (alligator) they can score in the goal by passing the ball in with accuracy but not power. If they hit an alligator the attack stops and possession is given to the other team. If they score they keep possession and must attack the opposite end. Once an attacker has entered the zone, no one else can go in until he has shot.


Good technique should be praised as there are a lot of decisions to make when taking a run through the cones. Finishing is important here, after the hard work of getting through the cones.

1. The game starts with a pass out from the server into one of the teams. Alternate the team you pass to when the ball goes out of play
2. Players must look for opportunities to get into the ‘river’ and dribble through the ‘alligators’ (cones) to score

3. If the team scores they carry on with possession and must attack the opposite goal
4. In the river players must try to control the ball and create an opening. Goalkeepers cannot advance into the river

5. If a player hits an alligator as he ties to dribble through the river, possession is given to the opposition

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