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Young player kicks the ball
SESSION

Finishing session: human goalposts

Ryan Davies, FA physical education officer, shares a fun activity that helps players work on scanning, communication and movement. This practice also tests shooting accuracy and technique.

This session helps players to: 

  • learn how scanning informs timing and movement  

  • pass or shoot while on the move  

  • build effective communication and teamwork with a partner.

JUMP TO:

Human goalposts

Human goalposts graphic

Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan to your device and give it a go.

 

Set up an area that suits your players' age and developmental stage.  

For this practice, we have 18 players – split into two teams. The first team has six players, each with their own ball. These are the 'goalscorers'. The second team contains 12 players who pair up to create 'human goalposts'. You can adjust these numbers to suit your group.  

Each pair of human goalposts needs to hold a 'crossbar'. A bib or a stick would work.  

 

The aim of the goalscorers is to score as frequently as possible. To get a goal, they must pass or shoot through the human goalposts. To make this difficult, each pair of goalposts can move around within the area you've created.  

Set a time limit for the activity, and then rotate your players. This gives them a chance to play for both teams. 

 

Progression

If your players master this game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. Here are some ideas.   

  • Use a different size ball.  

  • Change the shape of your playing area.  

  • Increase the sense of competition (e.g. ask players to note the goals they score).  

  • Add a constraint that encourages shooting accuracy (e.g. a goal doesn't count if the ball goes out of play).  

But remember, learning takes time. So don't alter your activity too quickly or too much. To help, try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This is a great way to keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.  

If you use this session with your team, let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community