"When asked what my three go-to U12s warm-ups are, I have no hesitation in listing them out", says Dan Brockhurst, owner of DB Sports Coaching. MORE
The grid game
Use this game to raise the heart rate, develop finding space, footwork and practise applying skills under increasing degrees of difficulty.
Within the pitch (say 30m by 30m), position five small boxes. Normally, I put one just off each corner and one in the middle.
Middle box scores 5 points and outer ones 1 point.
HOW TO DO IT
- Attackers, on “go” enter the pitch with ball and aim is to score as many points within three minutes by running into the small boxes with the ball.
- If an attacker is touched in possession, they must stand still and pass. Passes can be in any direction.
- Defenders play within the pitch but cannot go into the boxes.
- If defender intercepts pass, they must leave the ball on the ground and allow the attackers to continue. Defenders can defend the boxes but cannot stand in the box.
- Swap teams. The team with highest points wins.
When an attacker has scored, they cannot enter the same box again to score and must find another box to score in. Attacker must pass if touched
When an attacker has scored, they must pass to another player for the next score. That is, they cannot run into the next box to score, the score must come from another player.
If the receiver gets touched, they cannot pass to the person that has just passed the ball and must instead pass to another teammate, encouraging support.
Play with all the progressions as before but if ball is dropped or intercepted then the attacking team lose all of their points but can continue to attack within their timeframe. They can also kick but must be to hands (no bounce and catch).
These progressions also make the defenders work harder as pressure can force attacking errors and their tactics will be centred around applying pressure and defending the boxes.