Objective: To give players lots of opportunities to make decisions (adapted from a session on thecoachingmanual.com)
The Set Up: Magic Rectangle - The overall pitch size is 45x35 yards with each corner square 15x15 yards.
Possession with Interference - This game is played ideally with two teams of four. One of the teams has a ball each, the other team stand around the outside of the square.
The players on the outside have to pass their ball around the area. The players on the inside have to dribble their ball to towards the outside players and block them form making a pass. This should encourage the outside players to play with their head up and exploit any space that is created. As a progression the players on the outside can be allowed to move into the square to receive the ball, then either check back out of the square with the ball or pass it to a team mate.
You can make the game competitive by giving the dribblers a point for each time they block a pass and give the players on the outside a point for a certain number of completed passes.
Below is a short video clip of some of grassroots players getting used to the game. Its not perfect, but then we are not looking for perfection, we are looking for enjoyment and learning.
Making Runs: Two small target areas are added just outside the squares used in the previous game. Place a player in each target area. To start two teams of 3 play with a ball each in the square play bi-directional passing the ball to their team mates and eventually to the target player who returns the ball for them to attack the opposite end. players should be encouraged to create space to receive a pass.
To progress the game and make it competitive take one of the balls away. The game still remains bi-directional but each team receives a point for transferring the ball from one target player to the other. Dont forget to rotate the target players.
Below is a short clip of grassroots players playing the game.
One - Nil Game: This game can played small sided (i.e 4v4) or with larger numbers like a normal game. The basic rule of the game is that you can only win by one goal.
The game is played according to the usual rules, with the exception that when a goal is scored, the team that scored must just try and keep possession and can’t score into the goal. If they do, the goal is disallowed and a goal kick ensues. If the other team then equalise the score is reset to 0-0 and both teams can try and score.
This is an excellent possession game and also allows a team to play out time by keeping possession.