Use these breakout exercises to focus on handling decision-making before returning the players to a game. Avoid stopping and starting – just let it run to allow the attackers to find solutions. MORE
VIDEO: How to run a game-sense activity
Game-sense activities put players under pressure to perform skills. The players learn by doing, and enjoy themselves at the same time. Here’s how to make it simple to run.
A quick game is a good game. So any game should either be familiar to the players, or if it’s a new game, have few rules.
If you start with a couple of basics, then let them play, you can add in rules quite quickly. Set out the boundaries, where to score and how to stop the opposition scoring. Then play.
They might ask which way they can pass the ball. Or they might make that up for themselves. You can let that go, depending on what you want to achieve.
For example, if you want them to work on getting into space, then you might allow forward passes. If you need them to develop their catching skills, your next rule might be only to catch the ball off the chest.
LOTS OF GAMES AND GAME TIME
If you have a bigger group of players, set up the game with half the players and then let the other group watch for 30 seconds. You can reiterate a couple of the rules and then the other group can get on with their game. The pitches should be pretty close together so you and your co-coaches can swap quickly between pitches.
With few rules, you shouldn’t have to say too much. The players might even be able to referee themselves, with little intervention from you. The more you say, the less they play.
DON’T FEEDBACK, FEEDFORWARD
After five minutes or so, pull them in. It won’t be more than 30 seconds of chat. Point out something that’s going well. Give them something that could improve, or ask them for something that could improve. Challenge them on how they’re going to achieve that and then put them back into the game.
And then let them play again. So, in 15 minutes, 12 minutes minimum will be spent playing. One minute for the set up, two 30 second breaks – so lots of play, and lots of chances to learn.
BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU PLAY
Always have bibs ready before the session. Split up the players as they arrive. In that way, you can get into a game straight away without wasting time organising.