Cops and robbers

You can use this fun soccer drill to teach young players the basics of attacking and defending. Awareness of where players are and the ability to control, pass and stop the ball can all be coached with this drill.

Set up the drill

Use the centre circle and put three cones to form a triangle in the centre. If your pitch doesn’t have a centre circle, use a circle of cones in a similar size. With all players in the playing area, have some players with a ball – the cops, and half as many without a ball – the robbers.

Soccer drill to help young players win the ball and score
How to run the drill

The robbers have to try and win a ball from one of the cops. If the robber wins the ball, they attempt to score by stopping it in the centre “bank”. If the robber manages to do that, the cop who lost the ball also becomes a robber. Play continues until the last player with a ball wins.

Key soccer coaching tips:

Cops should keep the ball close, with their heads up so the players are aware of the robbers. If the ball is lost, recover quickly and fight to win it back before the robber puts it in the bank. Robbers should move quickly from defence to attack to avoid other players and control the ball into the bank.

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