This three-part session develops players’ awareness and ability to identify and exploit space in wide areas through creating overloads. By CARLY DAVIES MORE
Lessons at the driving school
WHY USE IT
This is a great ball-mastery practice for players to develop confidence in having the ball at their feet, as well as incorporating the ABCs (agility, balance, co-ordination and speed). The bumper cars round can also help players interact with each other while having fun.
Set-up a playing area relative to the age and ability of your players. Each player needs a ball and the area should have a number of cones (large dome cones if possible) dotted around randomly.
HOW TO DO IT
Players start in the area with a ball (‘car’) at their feet – and they are going to learn to drive! Players follow instructions from the coach, starting with:
‘Red light’: Stop with foot on the ball and ‘Green light’: Dribble.
When players are comfortable with this, you can add in more challenging instructions:
‘Amber light’: Do a drag-back turn.
‘Windscreen wipers’: Pass the ball from side to side with inside of feet.
‘Petrol station’: Every player must dribble their ball to a dome cone and do 10 toe-taps to refuel.
‘Swap cars’: Leave the ball where it is, find another and carry on dribbling.
You can progress the session further by adding in a bumper cars round. Now, all the cars magically transform into bumper cars. To score a point, players must bump footballs with another player.
As you introduce players to new skills, ask them questions to keep them engaged, so they remember what techniques to use. For example, “When we are in a smaller space with lots of players around us, do we need big or little touches?” or “Who can show me how to do a drag-back turn?”.
Try to encourage players to look up while dribbling, as well as keeping the ball close to their feet when space is tight, and bigger touches when there is space in front of them to drive into.
Challenge the players by making the area smaller to encourage closer control, or incorporate new skills, such as a more challenging turn for an amber light, like a Cruyff turn or inside cut.
Make the session easier by starting without a ball. Players can perform star jumps for petrol station and high knees instead of toe-taps. You can then progress to having a ball involved but with the simple instructions of ‘red light’ and ‘green light’.
- Set up a playing area relative to the age and ability of your players.
- Place a number of large cones within the area. Each player needs a ball.
- Players dribble around the area when the coach says ‘green light’ and stop the ball on the call of ‘red light’.
- Further instructions can be added to increase the challenge such as ‘amber light’ (turn), petrol station (complete 10 toe-taps at a cone) and ‘swap cars’ (swap a ball with someone else).