Overview:

Setup a 5 x 5 yard area and then a larger 15 x 15 yard area outside with 4 different colour cones. The player starts inside the small area and has to return the ball back to the server whilst keeping any first touch inside that area. On the call of a colour, the player moves out of the box with the ball and goes around that colour cone and back into the middle. The type of service can vary as can the distance of the cones.

Coaching Points: 

Awareness: The player needs to be aware of the positions of the different colour cones to know where their first touch needs to be directed to. As the practice progresses the player needs to be scanning where the server is prior to and after turning so they can find them with a quick and accurate pass.

First Touch & Pass: To return the ball back to the server, the player has to pass the ball at an appropriate weight so the server can return first time. The pass can be performed with different parts of the foot such as the inside or outside depending on the position of the server and where the first touch takes the ball. The first touch needs to close within the area but not stuck under their feet so they can get their pass off quickly. Players need to be always on their toes ready to receive and take their first touch towards the colour called, this may be behind them too.

Turns: When moving out with the ball towards the cones “defenders” players need to disguise their turns with exaggerated movements using their body. Different turns such as inside, outside and cruyff turns should be implemented so the player has a variety of turns up their sleeve. As soon as they have turned, they need to accelerate away quickly back to the area or get their head up and pass to the server.

Progressions:

  • The player performs a turn at the cone instead of going around the cone.
  • The player to perform 4 different turns at the cones.
  • The server changes their position for the player to pass into them after turning.