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U8 - U10

Decision Making

Download the practice card

O’s and X’s – This is a fun decision making game of nought’s and crosses. The exercise shows 4 teams. One team plays against another. Ahead of them they have 9 cones placed as shown. Each team has three bibs the same color but different from the team they are playing against. The first three players of each team hold a bib.

1. When the coach says go, the first player on each team races to the cones and drops a bib on a cone (it cannot be thrown from a distance)

2. They run back and tag a team mate who does the same.

3. Once all three bibs have been used players run out and move their own color bib.

4. The first team to make a line straight or diagonal wins.

Coaching points:

Communicating, fun and decision making.


If you have a number of groups competing you can have the winners move up a group and the losers move down one.

Area: 20 x 20. This exercise shows 7 players. Two teams of 3 and 4. The blue team (4 players) have one ball while the yellow players (3 players) each have a ball.

1. The yellow team dribble their ball in the playing area try and block passes from the blue team. They are dribbling and getting in the way of the blue team.

2. The blue team attempt to pass their soccer ball in the playing area.

3. Players CANNOT touch the other teams ball.


Switch roles

Coaching points:

The players that are keeping possession quickly find space.

Weight, accuracy and timing of the pass.

Body shape when receiving the ball. If the player receiving the ball does not see an open player, move the ball with a good first touch.

Dribbling players keep the intensity

Area: 25 x 30. Two teams. One team is chosen to play with three players and one with two players. The coach has all the balls.

1. Blue players set up to play 3v2 against yellows. One blue player stands in front of the goal.

2. The coach serves in the ball to the blue player.

3. This triggers two supporting blue  and two defending yellow players to enter the playing area. They run round the cones as shown.

4. A 3 v 2 is played. If the defenders win the ball they can attack the opposition goal.

5. Switch to where yellow play 3v2.

Coaching points:

Make the extra player count. Create a triangle.

Passing and angles.

Movement and communication

Shot at goal

  • Decision making
  • Team work
  • The feeling of success and failure
  • Lots of communication
  • Fun
  • The sense of working together
Psychological / Social
  • Competitive
  • Bursts of speed
  • Stamina
  • Players go from one exercise to another
  • To get success players need to be mobile
  • Passing technique:
Weight, Accuracy, Timing
  • Ball control
  • Body shape when receiving the ball
  • Angle of support
  • Do we pass to space or to feet?
  • Field awareness
  • Decision making
  • Pass to space or to feet
  • Team shape
  • Reaction to losing the ball or winning the ball
  • Work as a team to get to the end goal
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