Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan to your device and give it a go.
This practice is a small-sided game played in a 2v2 format.
To set up, create a pitch suitable for your players’ age and developmental stage. Then, use flat spot markers to mark a zone at either end of the pitch and one across the middle.
One team of two will be the ‘passers’, and the other will be the ‘interceptors’.
Each ‘passer’ starts the game in opposite halves of the pitch, while both ‘interceptors’ begin in the middle zone.
How to play
The aim of the game is to get the ball into the end zones.
The interceptors start the game by playing the ball out from the middle zone to one of the passers.
The passer then aims to pass the ball to their teammate in the other half of the pitch, who can dribble into their end zone to score a point.
The interceptors’ need to block the pass and win the ball back. One interceptor can leave the middle zone to press the ball, while the other stays in the middle and tries to intercept.
If they win the ball back, the interceptors can score a point by working together to dribble the ball into the end zone.
Once a point is scored or the ball goes out, play resets and the game begins again.
Play for three or four minutes, or for five rounds. Then, count the scores. Repeat and swap the teams around so every player can be a passer and an interceptor.
If your players master your activity – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. One idea could be to add a small goal at either end, rather than zones. This will put more focus on combinations and finishing to score points.
Whatever you do, remember that learning takes time. So don’t alter your activity too quickly – or too much. Try using the STEP framework (Youth Sports Trust, 2002). This helps keep things fun, engaging and appropriate.
Plan to use this with your team? Let us know how you get on by posting in the England Football Community forums.