Use the numbers game to help get your players in groups

Moving from one soccer drill or game to another in your coaching sessions can often be problematic, especially if you need to change the group numbers each time. Use this “numbers game” to help you get players into any size of team quickly.

At the same time as it sorts your players into teams, this game also develops their running, agility skills, and reactions.

Numbers game set up

  • Set up a square at the side of where you train. It needs to be big enough so your players can run around, but small enough so they will need to move constantly to avoid contact.

  • At the end of any soccer (football) drill or game, move all your players into the square and get them to run around, avoiding contact with each other.

  • When you call out a number, say “three”, the players need to get into groups of that number as quickly as possible and crouch down.

  • The last group (or anyone not in a group of the correct number) can do a small forfeit such as star jumps, press ups or crunches.

  • Once in their new groups, you can move on to the next soccer (football) drill or game quickly and without players arguing about who is in whose group.

  • Encourage your soccer (football) players to find new partners every time so they all get a chance to work with different team-mates.

Large teams or groups

To make larger groups, eight for example, get the players into groups of four, then merge two together. This is much quicker than trying to get the players into groups of eight straight away.

Advance the soccer drill

You can have players perform different soccer skills as they move around the square. For example, put a number of balls in the square and have the players pass them around whilst skipping, or moving sideways or backwards.

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