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Coach talks to group of players

Receiving session: take a picture 

Our early years specialist, Pete Sturgess, shares a simple session that helps players develop their scanning and receiving skills.  

Take a picture

Take a picture


This is a regular small-sided game with equal numbers – for example, 3v3, 4v4 or 5v5. So, all you need to do is provide an area appropriate for the age and ability of your players.


This activity replicates an actual match. Two teams aim to score as many goals as possible, and there are two goals and two goalkeepers.  

But before the game starts, introduce the session's main focus: opening up their body when receiving the ball.  

When your team position themselves like this, they're better able to look at the player in possession and scan the rest of the pitch. This helps them make better decisions. 


If your players master this game – or find it too hard – try adding a progression. For example, slowly reducing the size of the playing area to make the activity more challenging. 

But remember, learning takes time. So don't alter things 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.