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Junior Academy Session 20

Activity: Create a playing area with goals at end and scatter different colour cones all over your playing area. The different colour cones and goals will be used to make your ball mastery activity more fun and dynamic. All players start with a ball in one of the colored cones. On your signal, players perform the designated skills at their cone, ensuring they combine different techniques and add movement to avoid staying stationary. At your call, players dribble their ball to a different color cone, performing a new set of skills.

Occasionally, instruct players to dribble towards one of the goals, score, and then either return to their original colour cone or proceed to a different colour cone. Encourage players to incorporate skills while moving between boxes and goals.

Skills List

  1. Outside Of Foot Touch Drag Back
  2. V -Pulls Inside & Outside Foot
  3. Drag Backs Alternate Foot
  4. Sole Roles With Partner
  5. Drag Back 180 Turn
  6. Step Over With Drag
  7. Fake Sideways Touch Other Way
  8. Drag Back In A Circle

Variations & Progressions

  • Transition between cones:
    • Dribble at speed with close ball control.
    • Practice feints and changes of direction.
    • Perform a series of ‘V’ cuts or ‘L’ drills while moving.
    • Include a skill move like step-overs or maradonas before entering the new box.

  • Scoring goals:
    • Before shooting, have players execute a set of quick-fire touches, like bell taps.
    • Encourage a skill challenge like a drag-back or a fake shot before scoring.
    • Set up mini-obstacles for players to maneuver around before taking a shot.

  • Variations to add complexity:
    • Use weaker foot only when moving between boxes or scoring goals.
    • Combine two or more skills in a fluid sequence while maintaining ball control.
    • Time challenges: players must reach a certain number of touches or complete a circuit within a time frame.

2v2 Games

Put your players into teams of 2 ideally you will have 3 teams of 2 playing on 3 mini pitches. If you do not have perfect numbers make teams of 2 and then create a 1v1 or jump into a game yourself avoid making teams of 3. In these games we want to coach two things only. Switch the teams around every 4 minutes.

1. Do Not Kick The Ball Away
Each player must take a minimum of two touches every time they receive the ball no booting it away.

2. Get Away From Your Team Mate
Coach the player who does not have the ball everytime they start to run over to their team mate who has the ball. To start it doen’t matter where they go we have to create the habit of getting away. The second stage will be coaching where to go but at this point we want to create the habit of moving away.

Field Setup: Create a rectangular playing area tailored to the participants’ age and skill level, add four goals around the outside of the playing area for the players to try and score in.

Teams: Organize the players into pairs try and make the pairs equal ability players or put friends together

Activity: . This is a simple 1v1 activity where the player with the ball is trying to score on any of the four goals and their partner is trying to to stop them steal the ball and score themselves. If the ball leaves the playing area the player must give the ball to their partner. Once a goal is scored the player who scored gives the ball to their partner and its thir turn to try and score or they can retain possession and try to score on a different goal

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.


Start On The Halfway Line

Start Right Behind The Player With The Ball

Start In The Wrong Home Zone