Looking for a soccer training for dribbling speed, control and defending skills?
Minutes: 10 to 15
Players: Unlimited (2 equal-sized teams)
Objectives: To develop dribbling speed and control; to improve individual defending skills.
Setup: Use markers to outline a 40- by 40-yard square. The size of the area may vary depending on the number of players involved. Mark off a safety zone (five yards square) in each corner of the field area. Organize two teams of equal numbers, giving a name to each team (such as Blues and Reds). Use colored vests to differentiate teams. All players stay within the area, each with a ball.
Procedure: At your command, players of both teams dribble randomly among themselves within the area (avoiding the safety zones) while maintaining close control of the ball. After a few seconds, shout out one of the team names (such as, “Blues!”) at which point all that team’s players attempt to dribble into a safety zone, but with one restriction: they can’t dribble into the safety zone closest to them. The second team’s players leave their balls and attempt to tag the first team’s players (with a hand) before they reach a safety zone. The chasers are the “wolves” while the players attempting to dribble into a safety zone are the “sheep.” Sheep are safe once they enter a safety zone. The round ends when all the first team’s players have been tagged or have dribbled into a safety zone. At this point, players from both teams go back to the center of the area and restart the game for round 2. Play several rounds, with teams alternating as wolves and sheep at your discretion.
Scoring: Sheep who reach a safety zone before being tagged score 1 team point. The team scoring the most points after several repetitions of the game wins.
Practice tips: For advanced players, enlarge the playing area or have wolves to dribble a ball while giving chase.