Shuffling and cross-over steps are essential skills for a defender to react to a change of direction of an attacker. Work on these in the development of your players’ tackling progression. MORE
Good grip in small areas
In congested areas, a strong grip on the ball will make it easier to manipulate it and ensure it doesn’t get dislodged. Use this activity to work on footwork and grip at the same time…
When there are lots of players in a small area, it is easy to have the ball dislodged or grabbed. Work on players keeping the ball close their bodies while maintaining their balance to go forward and avoid contact
- Put at least two players on each corner. With four per corner, use another box.
- Start with two balls, on diagonally opposite corners of the box.
- The ball carrier runs through the end of the small box, through at the other end and then turns runs to the players who were on the next corner.
- Both groups go at the same time.
- Once they have mastered this, add another ball to each group.
- Now there should be lots of congestion.
- Make sure the players keep the ball secure and don’t step out of the box.
- Run for 30 seconds at top speed to see how many lengths each team completes.
- Finally, give two balls to one group, one on each corner.
- Call out a corner.
- The ball carrier and support player from that corner run forward aiming to score at the other end, though they must go through the small box.
- At the same time, the front two players from the other group come forward to tackle them.
- Score one point if they make it out of the small box, and two points if they score.
- The attackers can pass once.
- Two hands on the ball.
- Keep the ball tight to the body when in contact.
- Don’t “teddy bear” – that is keep the ball on the side of the body in one arm.