Grid Play with Free Zone

Field size: half field or three quarters of the field

Number of players: at least ten players; full team can spilt into two groups

Age range: 14-16

Description: Play four versus two in the back and then three versus one in the attacking third.  Setup two grids for each group to play in and create a free zone in between the two grids, with one midfielder in it who acts as an outlet between the two groups. The free zone is about ten yards long.  

The free player only has one touch to start and later allow another player to enter this free zone from either group after they make a pass.  The key in this drill is the timing of the passes so the attacking player has support from both sides, the back and ahead of them.  The player who runs into the free zone only has one touch too. The free player can play the ball into a zone and get it back and start over so to speak.

Another key in this drill is making sure the players get into position to support the play and use their body to protect the ball. This is even more important when you progress to one and two touch soccer.

Teams earn a point when they move the ball from one grid to the other and connect three passes. Overall, players in the two grids try to keep possession of the ball and move it as quickly as possible.

Extra: In certain parts of the field players have to realize that they are going to get fouled, and they should realize that earning a free kick in those situations is what they should strive for.  This is especially true of forwards making a run down the sidelines, if they can earn a foul in that part of the field, then they give their team a good goal scoring opportunity via a cross off a free kick from the sidelines.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.