Field Setup: Mark a rectangular field and divide it into two equal halves, referred to as “Home Zones.” Each player is assigned to a specific zone that represents their target area for ball retrieval and protection.
Teams: Pair up the players, and assign each pair to opposite Home Zones. Each pair consists of one player starting with the ball and the other as the challenger.
Activity: Players begin in their partner’s Home Zone. On the coach’s signal, the player with the ball attempts to dribble back to their own Home Zone while the partner tries to steal the ball. If the challenger gains possession, they attempt to take the ball back to their Home Zone. The coach intermittently shouts “freeze,” and players in their Home Zone with the ball at this time win the round.
If a player has the ball at the end of the activity but is not in their Home Zone they do not score a point for their team. If a player dribbles the ball outside of the grid you must give the ball to the player who forced you out of the grid.
The activity is designed to enhance players’ ball possession skills, focusing on dribbling, changes of direction, shielding the ball, and identifying open spaces to move into. It challenges players to maintain control of the ball under pressure, make quick decisions, and use their body to protect the ball.
Variations & Progressions
Switch up your partner match ups every couple fo rounds so players get to play against different players and players all get to play against their friends. Pay attentions to the match ups so you can start to pair players that are similar abilities.
Change where the players who have the ball start and where their partners start in this one they start on the halfway line between the home zones. The players with the ball need to try and dribble away into their home zone to start before their partner steal the ball.
In this variation the blue players start with the ball on the halfway line between the two home zones but they are facing their partner. The challenge is to turn quickly with the ball and get away into their home zone befoer their partner steals the ball.
Players start with the ball in their own home zone but their partner is starting right behind them. Can the play shield the ball and then dribble into space?
In this variation the green players start with the ball in the blue home zone they must beat their partner with a 1v1 move to get back to the green home zone with the ball
Try to dribble the ball to the far end of your Home Zone and keep it their if you can. If an opposing player steals the ball they then have further to get back to their Home Zone giving you a chance to steal it back inside your own Home Zone
Encourage players to be aware of their surroundings and available space. They should use controlled dribbling to maneuver the ball, being ready to change direction if the path to their Home Zone is blocked.
Advise players on the importance of varying their pace and utilizing sudden changes of direction to evade their partner. Quick accelerations can create separation, while deceptive changes in direction can throw the defender off balance.
Players should practice keeping the ball close when moving at speed and using their body to fend off challenges from the side or behind. Emphasize the use of the foot farthest from the defender to push the ball, maintaining control while on the move.
Teach players how to use their body to shield the ball effectively. This includes placing their body between the ball and the opponent, using their arms to maintain balance and space, and their legs to keep the ball out of the challenger’s reach.