I was talking to a coach this week about how to control balls in the air, especially when heading the ball in training is off the menu for most clubs. I imagine that there will be much more of a contest to win the ball with a volley once it has dropped from head height. So how do you coach controlling balls in the air? MORE
Cat and Mouse
Players are divided into to two teams, cats and mice, with the players on each team numbered 1-6 each starting at a cone. Start with 12 balls (pieces of cheese) in the middle.
The coach calls out a number and the appropriate mouse runs to the centre and steals the cheese, one piece at a time, taking it back to their starting place on the circle.
At the same time, the appropriate cat takes a piece of cheese, dribbles back to their starting cone and then all the way around the outside of the circle before returning the cheese to the middle.
When the cat gets back the turn is over. The mouse counts their cheese and returns it to the middle before the coach calls the next number to repeat the game.
After all 6 pairs have gone, count the total number of pieces of cheese stolen and switch the roles of cat and mouse.
Speed, control, turning, dribbling.
Area: Circle, 10 yard radius
Players: 12, 2 teams of 6
Equipment: 12 balls, 12 cones
What To Call Out
“Stop the cheese at your cone”
“Keep the cheese close”
“The cat’s almost home”
Allow the cat to sprint around the outside of the circle without a ball to encourage quicker, short bursts and turns by the mice. This will cause the scores to be lower.
Once a player has taken their turn they should sit down to avoid confusion – unless the ground is wet of course!