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U8 - U10

When to dribble / run with the ball

Download the practice card

Warm up – Exercise shows 10 players in a 10 x 20 area. The dark players all have a ball and the red players are in pairs and have one ball. Players do not have to have designated colors. This just helps with the explanation.

1.The dark players run / dribble their ball from east to west, back and forth.

2. The red players that are in pairs go from north to south. The first player with the ball runs / dribbles the ball north, comes back and passes to their team mate, who then performs the same task.

3. Switch the roles of the players.

Coaching points:

Fun, energetic, competitive.

Try and not hit other balls.

Close ball control. Lift your head. To see what is going on.


The red players now stand facing each other and pass the ball to each other through the crowd.

  • Decision making
  • Team work
  • Players have to concentrate on the task
  • Team mates will verbally help a team mate
  • Playing numbers down
  • Fun
Psychological / Social
  • Competitive
  • Go, go , go
  • You need the coach to be enthusiastic
  • Short bursts of energy
  • 1 v 1 battles
  • 60 - 90 minute session

Area: 25 x 20 with two goals. This exercise shows 12 players. Designate two defenders. All other players have a ball each are are spread out equally on the 4 corners.

1. One defender is on the middle cone while the other one rests.

2. Two outside players attacks the goal they are facing. These players must be diagonal from each other, as shown in the diagram.

3. The defender chooses which attacker they want to tackle.

4. The two attacking players options - One has to dribble round the defender while the other player can run with the ball to goal.

5. When the exercise is over the coach adds the next defender while the other defender rests. The coach now calls out for the attackers to start.


If the defender wins the ball, they can go and score.

Once the attackers get passed the halfway point, another defender can go in.

Coaching points:

Opposed you will dribble. Unopposed you will run with the ball.

Quick attack, drive forward.

Area: 30 x 40 with two goals. The teams are divided into defenders (Dark) and attackers (Red) with two goalkeepers. Attacking players are split into 3 groups, A, B and C, while defenders are in two groups either side of the goal, D & E.

1. 3 attackers get ready. Play starts from the coach who chips the ball to C.

2. As soon as the pass is played, players A & B run around the outer cones marked 1 & 2 and players D & E run around the cones marked 3 & 4.

3. Player C attacks the opposite goal and will be joined by team mates A & B.

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

Coaching points:

The support of A & B are crucial. They have to be quick to support player C.

Player C has to entice player D or E towards the ball to create space for their team mates.

Offside rule is in play.

  • Close ball control
  • Dribbling
  • Turns
  • Using inside, outside and sole of the foot
  • Passing
  • Shielding
  • Shootin
  • Field awareness
  • Decision making
  • Pass to team mate or dribble
  • Find space
  • Defend - Pressure and cover
  • Movement
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