in Warm Ups
This three-part session develops players’ ability to react quickly when winning possession, countering and switching the point of attack. By KIM DeCESARE MORE
This is a fun warm-up, getting players moving while getting as much contact as possible on the ball early in the session.
This practice requires five cones and four players, though can be extended to six cones and five players. Place four cones to form a square, with one in the middle. If possible, use tall/dome cones as this focuses movement around the cone as well as providing an obstacle, forcing the passer to focus on the direction of the pass.
Three players start on different outside cones, one starts on the middle cone. With no restrictions on the number of touches, players pass and then move to the cone which is free. One player must remain in the middle – so if you pass into the middle, you are following the pass (as seen in the diagram). The pass then has to be to a player who is available and ready to receive. The practice can be progressed to one-touch after a few minutes to improve the speed of the game and players’ concentration on the next pass.
Encourage players to think ahead, concentrating on where the next pass needs to go, before they receive the ball. This will help them adopt the best body shape to play a good quality pass at speed, or take a first touch in the direction they intend the pass to go. Also, encourage passers to play the ball to the foot of the receiver which will be most helpful for them to complete their next pass. Weight of pass is also important in this practice, while quick movement off the ball is pivotal to success.