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Changing course – small-sided game

WHY USE IT

Creates situations for both dribbling and running with the ball, encouraging players to perceive the situation and dictate the pace and direction of play accordingly.

SET UP

Set up a playing area relative to the age and ability of your players, with a goal at each end and a number of cones along each touchline.

HOW TO PLAY

Bibs attack one goal, non-bibs the other. When a player scores, they have to sprint and grab a cone from the side of the pitch and place it along the byline at the end they are attacking, before returning to the game. If needed, mark out attacking thirds that goals must be scored within to prevent unrealistic long shots.

COACHING POINTS

The team that concedes has an overload while the goal scorer moves their cone. What pace and directional changes can be used to exploit this advantage? This may lead to some situations where running with the ball – which involves longer, less frequent touches, may be more appropriate (and may be followed by another pace and directional change if the defending team recovers well). In addition to moving with the ball individually, can passing combinations like a one-two be used to change the pace of play and create space?

1. Teams play a normal game with normal rules

2. If a player scores, they must collect a cone and place it by the goal, allowing the other team to attack with an overload

3. Encourage players to recognise opportunities for passing combinations when attacking with an overload

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