FIFA
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The art of keeping the ball

FIFA, 28 Mar 2023

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The session starts with football bowling, where the players themselves are the pins. Next, players join in a 6v6 possession game. The group then play a 5v5 game across eight goals to finish.

Warm-up: Football bowling

Organisation

  • Organise two teams and create a human bowling target for each team to bowl at and a bowling mark to pass from approx. 10 metres away
  • Each team takes turns to “bowl” and sees how many legs it can touch with the ball. They can either have three shots each or keep playing until the first team to hit all legs wins
  • Repeat the game with different bowlers each time so that all players have a chance to score points for their team
  • The team with the most points or hits all legs wins

 Ways to make the exercise easier

  • Bowlers can start closer to the target
  • Players can stand closer together
  • Bowlers could roll the ball underarm

 Ways to make the exercise harder

  • Bowlers can stand further away
  • Targets can stand further apart or jump
  • Have to bowl/pass with the weakest foot

Great questions to ask the children

  • What is more important – accuracy or power? 
  • Can you try and pass with your weakest foot?
  • Which part of the foot would you use to be most accurate?

Safety tips

  • Passes must be below knee height and kept on the ground – anything above the knee does not count or the bowler misses a turn!

Skill development: 6v6 possession game

Organisation

  • Organise two teams of up to 6v6
  • The team in possession has to complete five, seven or ten passes as a team to win a point
  • Start with throwing and catching and then ask players to pass with feet
  • No problem if a team has an odd number

 Ways to make the exercise easier

  • One team can have more players
  • Each team can have a ball each to start with and race to complete the sequence with no opposition

 Ways to make the exercise harder

  • One team can have fewer players
  • Increase the number of passes before a point can be scored

 Great questions to ask the children

  • Can you spread out as a team and try to use all the available space?
  • Can you call for the ball?
  • Can you try to find ways to intercept a pass to win the ball back for your team?

 Safety tips

  • Players can only win the ball when it is being thrown or caught
  • Create a safe playing area

Game application: 5v5 on eight goals

Organisation

  • Organise two teams of four or five and they can shoot/score in any of the eight goals around the pitch – there are two goals on each side
  • When a goal is scored, possession goes to the other team, which has to score on any of the three other sides. A goal cannot be scored twice in succession in the same goal or on the same side
  • If you have more players, rotate the teams or set up another pitch

 Ways to make the exercise easier

  • The game can be played in one direction, with each team attacking the four goals in the opposite half

 Ways to make the exercise harder

  • The team that scores keeps the ball and can then continue to try to score on the other sides
  • The defending team can act as goalkeepers if they are nearest to the goal
  • A team has to score on all four sides to win the game

 Great questions to ask the children

  • Can you identify where there is space?
  • Can you shoot early into an open goal?
  • When you are defending, should you defend the goals or try to win the ball?

 Safety tips

  • Create safe zones between other pitches

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