Zonal Play with Limited Touches

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Field size: 30 yards by 30 yards for each grid

Number of players: 8 versus 8 (16 total players)

Age range: 14-16

Description: Setup a field with three girds where players have to play two touch in the center zone and then three touch at the two end zones.  This forces players play precise passes and think about the next pass they’re going to make and not just the first pass.  For example, when a player makes a pass, they should ask themselves, ‘does the person I’m passing the ball to have support or another player near them they can pass to?’ And, ‘Do I need to run and support this pass or is there someone close to them they can help them?’

Try to get your players thinking about the next two or three passes and not just their own pass or getting rid of the ball so they don’t lose it. When you play games with restrictions, ease into the drill and don’t have your team play with fear or worry all the time about the rules. Yes, you want them to get used to playing one and two touch soccer, but you don’t want them to be afraid of making a mistake. Keep the game fun.

As the game advances, and the players get more comfortable, make the center zone one touch only and the the two end zones two touch. Players should look to play quickly in and out of the center zone and look for a through pass or longer pass to the far end zone. Later, give points to a team when they move the ball from one end zone to the next or connect a certain number of passes, and not just in one or two zones, but they must connect a pass in each zone.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

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