Build the play in a small-sided game. By Rangers U19 coach Niamh Russell MORE
This fun foundation-phase practice allows players to work on ball manipulation skills and develops players’ ABCs – agility, balance, coordination and speed.
Set up a playing area relative to the number, age and ability of your players. Each player will need a ball but no other equipment is necessary.
Players begin by dribbling their ball around the playing area. Each action a player needs to carry out is associated with a Finding Nemo character. The coach calls out a character’s name and the players must complete the relevant action.
Nemo: Dribble around the playing area. Peach the starfish: Pass the ball from side to side with the inside of the feet.
Dory: Complete a turn with the ball. Dory is always turning around because she’s so forgetful!
Bruce the shark: Squeeze the ball in between feet and complete a few pencil jumps.
Marlin: Toe taps.
You can start with just one or two characters before adding in more to avoid confusion. You could also ask players to suggest their own characters and the actions they could represent.
1. Set up a playing area relative to the age and ability of your players. Each player has a ball.
2. When the coach shouts ‘Nemo’, players dribble around the area. Other characters can be used for other actions.
When dribbling, encourage players to take touches with both feet, and different parts of their feet, to discover a variety of ways to move and manipulate the ball. Also encourage players to play with their head up.
Create two boxes which are treasure chests and spread lots of equipment around the area, such as cones and bibs.
In this story, Bruce the shark has been naughty and let all the treasure loose from the chests. It is now the players’ jobs to dribble their balls around the area, pick up a piece of treasure and put it back in the treasure chests.