Want to try this with your team? Download the session plan and give it a go.
Set up an area to suit the age and ability of your players – but make it narrow. Split it into thirds and put a goal at each end.
You'll need multiple footballs for this activity. Three in play and spares placed around the edge of the pitch.
In our example, this is a 6v6 game. So, set up as many areas as needed if you have a large group.
How to play
This is a classic game. Two sides (with goalkeepers) who are trying to score goals. But there's a difference. Each side has one player with a ball in the middle third of the pitch. These are the 'restart players' and they can move anywhere in the middle area.
The restart players have their own footballs, while the rest of the players use one. So, there are three footballs on the pitch at any one time.
When the main football goes off the pitch, the restart players spring into action. They immediately look to set up a teammate from the middle third of the pitch with their own football.
So, if the blue team kicked the ball out, the red team's restart player will quickly try to pass to a teammate, as it would've been their throw-in.
Once that player has attempted to set up a goal, they must collect a football from the side of the pitch and prepare for the next time the ball goes out of play.
If a player scores after being set up by their restart player, that goal counts as three points.
This has the potential to be a fast-paced game. It tests your player's scanning, positioning and intercepting skills. To stop the opposition from taking advantage of a restart, they must know what's around them and what position to be in.
If your players master this game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. If you're looking for ideas, you could:
award six points for a goal that's scored after intercepting a pass from a restart player (three for the interception and three for the goal)
swap the restart player after every restart
allow the restart players to help their team defend, but they must dribble their own football while doing so
consider restricting the restart player to passes along the ground or allowing them to be unopposed if an increase in intercepting is required.
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.