Pick Pockets

The Rules

Split your players up into four teams of three. Place four or more ‘pieces of gold’ (balls) in each pocket.

Each team begins the game at its own pocket of gold. On your command players are free to ‘pick’ other teams pockets by sprinting to steal balls and taking them back to their own pockets. (Each player must deposit the ball they stole themselves.)

Play for about 90 seconds. The teams win a point for each ball deposited in their pockets and the team with the most balls in total gets a bonus point. Play a number of rounds until a team reaches 20 points.


Improves running with the ball and dribbling.

Key Skills

Good sprinting, ball stealing with a good turn, decision making (run with ball or dribble depending on space), good control at the pocket. Development improves head up quality of technique on long pass high or low, and first touch (from aerial control).

Set Up

Area: 50×50 yards square with four 5×5 yards pockets in each corner
Players: 12
Equipment: 16 or more balls

Pass-Run-Ground Covered-Dribble

Pick Pockets Drill for 12 to 15 Year Olds- part 1

Players sprint to the other teams’ pockets to steal the balls and return them to their own pocket.


Pick Pockets Drill for 12 to 15 Year Olds- part 2

Each player must deposit the stolen balls
themselves. The team with the most points wins.


Pick Pockets Drill for 12 to 15 Year Olds- part 3

Allow the players to use a lofted ball or driven
pass to a team mate waiting at a pocket.

What To Call Out

“Attack space”
“Keep control”


  • Randomly introduce two or three extra balls to guarantee a winning team.
  • Once a player steals a ball he has the option of finding a team mate who is positioned near the team’s pocket. The player can either play a long lofted ball or driven pass to his team mate who then deposits the ball. At any point in either development you can introduce stealing any loose balls or block tackles.
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