Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Try this game from Keith Boanas


In this game, players move at walking pace like the character from the film Robocop – but with a ball. The main objectives are to improve communication, co-ordination and getting a feel for distances.

Set up a 50×30 yards playing area with a coned-off target zone around each goalmouth. Use two teams of six players.

The rules

  • One player stands in each target zone to act as a target for the attacking team. They also serve the ball for the other team to counter attack.

  • The ball is thrown and caught between team mates to reach the target player.

  • Players move with the ball at walking speed. They can pass freely and must pass if tagged by an opponent.

  • Opponents can only win the ball from an intercepted throw or if the ball is dropped.

  • Speed walking is allowed.

  • A point can be scored by reaching the target player from a designated third of the pitch or after a minimum number of passes to encourage team play.

  • Be firm with the no-running rule.

  • Players must take time to be accurate with their throws. Any form of throw is allowed – overarm, underarm or proper throw-in technique.

How to progress it

Allow the ball to be headed rather than caught if this will gain an advantage.

Allow the attacking team to throw or head the ball into the goal rather than pass to the target player. In this instance, the target player becomes the goalkeeper and tries to save.


Don’t punish mistakes

One thing the world’s best young players have in common is an ability to show great technique on the ball and they all do something to create space for themselves and to make it harder for the opposition to win the ball off them.

Add that to the fact that they all have the ability to make a fabulous end product be it a shot or a pass and you can see why they are recognised as the top young talent. But your players can have their own admirers if you work on their technique and skills.

In my U11s team I have players with different skills that complement each other and create an excellent team between them. One is a great dribbler, another has great vision to switch play, one is great at making runs for through balls.

They have all learned these skills during the sessions I have run for them.

The best way to let this happen is to run sessions that let your players express themselves in an atmosphere of learning and not one where making mistakes is punished.

Watch this video of some of the world’s best young players below:

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