Players, Coaches, Referees, Administrators and Their Parents

Duration - 20 minutes; # of players - 12-16 (older); Goalies - Yes

Form a large circle of players about 5 yards apart. Every player is given a number that is exclusive to him/her. Start with the ball at player # 1. Player # 1 passes to player # 2 passes to player # 3 passes to player # 4 and so on. At this stage the ball simply travels around the circle until it reaches the last player who then passes the ball back to player # 1. Keep the ball moving around the circle, this is important.

The coach calls out 2 numbers, the players with the 2 numbers concerned must sprint clockwise around the outside of the circle and arrive in their opposite numbers position, i.e. If the 2 numbers called are 1 and 5, # 1 must sprint into the # 5 position and # 5 must sprint into the # 1 position. In this example # 1 will have a short journey, only having to run 4 spaces, but # 5 will have further to run to get to the # 1 position that has been left vacant. All the other players keep passing the ball to their next number. At all times the ball must be kept moving and the players in the circle must encourage the runners to get into position to receive the ball.

When player # 1 receives the ball from the last player he will now receive the ball at position # 5 because that is where he is now positioned. Player # 1 must still pass the ball back across the circle to player # 2 who then continues to player # 3 and so on. After a few different numbered calls from the coach all the players should be in different positions from where they originally started, and the ball should now be passed across the circle at different angles.

As a final part of the exercise ask the players to get themselves back to where they were positioned originally so that eventually the ball ends up being passed back around the circle. This should be done with care, let # 1 start the call and get himself back first, whoever is in his original position will have to communicate with him to let him back, and then player # 2 gets back and so on. Remember that as the players get themselves back the ball begins to speed up as the passing goes from across the circle to eventually going around the circle in short passes.

Harder Variations: Odd numbered players run clockwise, Even numbered players anti - clockwise. Start the session with 2 balls, say 1 ball with # 1 and the second ball with the player situated around the halfway mark.

Coaching Points: Encourage the players to keep the ball moving at all times, never kill the ball. The players must COMMUNICATE with each other across the circle as to the timing of when to run so as to keep the ball moving. Remember one important rule: The ball will always be passed to the same numbered player: #1 passes to # 2 passes to # 3 passes to # 4 and so on irrelevant of where they are positioned in the circle.

Thanks To: Garry Bree
- Reserve Team Manager, Slough Town Football Club -- Semi-Pro team playing in the Vauxhall Conference League in England

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