back to soccer skills

Section 5

Part 12 - Basic Numbers Game


(Start with a clip of two players playing one on one in a numbers game with one goal. Then switch to normal facing coach view)

Coach: "The 'Numbers Game' is another game that is quite commonplace in one form or another. Her we will start with a simple version, then we'll add some new dimensions to increase the challenge. The 'Numbers Game' is about as close as you can get to a new situation while still allowing players the freedom to try new things and make mistakes. Trial and error is the way we improve in soccer. The drills players do must be designed so that if they make a mistake, they'll get a chance to try again...and again if necessary until they get it right every time. Of course it also has to be fun enough so that the player will want to keep on trying."
(do a short clip of something for a good scene transition)

Coach: "The 'Numbers Game' is just the fun drill you're looking for. It's very simple. There are two teams of equal ability and each player has a number. Both teams use the same numbers so that each player has a number counterpart on the other team. The playing field is a box of any size and there is only one goal. The coach will toss a ball in to the box and call a number. The two players with that number will race out onto the field in an attempt to score. The last player to touch the ball before it goes in gets a goal for their team. If the ball leaves the playing field the round ends and the players return to their lines. When numbering team, be sure to match players up with those of equal ability. It won't help either player if the best faces off against the worst."
(do a scene where the camera switches between the two teams as they stand ready to run for the ball. Go back and forth a few times and then call a number. When the number is called show the kids taking off and then switch to them in the middle as they start to fight for the ball. Finish after a few seconds of them with the ball)

Coach: "Another addition to the game is to allow passes to the players not in play. These players cannot be checked and cannot dribble the ball. It is the responsibility of players in play to move to an open space so that they can be passed to. This addition allows you to require at least one pass even for the single number rounds. Moving into space can be a difficult concept especially as players' skills improve. We won't be cover this in detail until the 'Advanced' section, so for the meantime focus on the simple things. Things like making sure there's no opposing players between you and the ball, or not standing too far away for a good pass can really help. The best advice is to keep moving nearly all the time. It's a lot harder to check someone that's always moving as opposed to someone who stands in one place and calls for the ball."
(show a couple quick clips of players turning quickly, losing their check and then getting the ball. Show a couple of different scenarios from different angles)