Pass Into The Endzone
Field Setup: Create a rectangular playing field appropriate for the age and skill level of the players. Divide the field into three zones with two end zones acting as target areas. Designate each end zone as the scoring area for one of the teams, with ‘target players’ from each team positioned within these zones.
Teams: Two teams, green and blue, each with an equal number of players. A few players from each team start within their respective end zones, and these players serve the role of targets or ‘goals’ that their teammates will aim to pass to in order to score points.
Activity: The main objective is for each team to penetrate the opposing defense and complete a pass to their teammates in the end zone. When a team scores by completing a pass to an end zone player, they earn a point. Then, possession changes, and the opposing team starts from the edge of the end zone, aiming to score in the opposite direction. The game is directional, with the blue team aiming for one end zone and the green team for the other. This setup encourages forward thinking and strategic penetration with the ball.
The activity emphasizes the principle of penetration, teaching players to advance the ball through defensive lines with well-timed and precise passes. Players should look to ball balls between defenders or play around quickly. Players learn to create and exploit spaces, make supporting runs, and communicate effectively to break down the opposition’s defense.
Encourage players to constantly scan the field and be aware of the positions of their teammates as well as the defenders to identify the best moments for penetration.
Stress the importance of continuous movement from both the ball carrier and supporting players to create passing lanes and draw defenders away from the target areas.
Instruct players to adopt a ‘side-on’ stance or be positioned facing the end zone they are targeting. This body orientation allows them to have a broader view of the playing area, enabling them to better anticipate incoming passes and observe the movements of both teammates and defenders. It facilitates quicker, more effective turns and plays, which are essential for penetrating the opposition’s defensive line. Additionally, it aids in receiving the ball in a way that naturally opens up their body to the field, making it easier to advance the ball forward towards the goal area swiftly.
Variations & Progressions
After scoring, the player who completed the pass swaps positions with the end zone player, promoting understanding of different roles and the importance of movement.
Decrease the number of target players in each end zone to just one. This change narrows the attacking focus and increases the difficulty for the attacking team to successfully penetrate. With only one target to aim for, players must sharpen their precision and timing of passes.
Remove all static target players from the end zones. Instead, require that a player must make a well-timed run into the end zone to receive a pass. This means the end zone starts empty, and players must decide when and how to initiate their runs without pre-positioning themselves in the zone. This progression emphasizes movement off the ball, communication, and understanding between the players to exploit the right moment for penetration.