U10 Week 4 - Receiving Balls in the Air

U10 Week 4 - Receiving Balls in the Air
Objective: To improve the technique of receiving soccer balls played in the air. To help players
practice using different surfaces when receiving lofted balls (feet, thighs, chest).
Coaching Points (receiving in air):
be on balls of feet and get body behind ball
move to the ball (do not wait for it)
try to drop ball in front of body so it is in your control but not under you
when using laces, lift foot up to meet the ball
as ball is about to make contact, drop foot down and cushion ball on top of
foot (laces) to the ground
when using thigh (not knee), lift thigh up to meet ball
once ball touches thigh, drop leg down to cushion the ball
make sure you push ball slightly in front of you so you can handle it easily
ball should not pop up as you cushion it
make sure players use middle of thigh to cushion balls
when using chest, bend knees with feet staggered and slightly arch back while
using arms for balance
cushion ball (collapse chest) as it hits chest and guide it to feet
do not push out chest to pop the ball out too far in front of you
Dutch Circle: (15 minutes)
Half of the players create a 25-35 yd outer circle
and have soccer balls. These players must always be
alert and on their toes. The other half of the players are
in the middle of this circle and do not have soccer balls.
The inner players check to players on the outside to
receive a pass from them. The players on the outside toss
the ball in the air to the players on the inside. The
players on the inside receive with different surfaces and
then turn and find another player on the outside.
Variation 2: top of foot, thigh, chest, any of the three.
Variation 3: add in a ‘dummy’ defender to put pressure
on player receiving ball in the air. Have one group go for
about 1 minute with one surface, then switch players on
outside and inside. Repeat until all surfaces are covered
and variations completed (if possible). Focus on
receiving with the thigh, chest and laces.
Arsenal Drill: (20 minutes)
Split grid into three even zones (zone 1, 2 and 3). Split
team into three even teams (can have 3 to 6 players in
each zone). If have three teams of 4, then Team in Zone 1
is trying to possess the ball (can ask them to have 2 to 4
passes before they can play the ball down) and then play
it in the air to team in Zone 3. Meanwhile, team in Zone 2
sends two defenders into Zone 1 to try and win the ball. If
they win the ball, they turn, play it down to Zone 3 and
then switch zones with team in Zone 1 (team in Zone 1
then has to then send two defenders into Zone 3 and try
to win the ball back). If team in Zone 1 is able to play it
down to team in Zone 3, they get a point. That means the
other two players waiting in Zone 2 are entering into
Zone 3 to win the ball back. Team that gets to 5 points
first, wins.
Variation: Make a restriction that the ball played into
other zone has to be in the air.
Bumper Game: (25 minutes)
4 v 4 scrimmage to goals. An additional
4 players are placed on the outside of
the playing area as bumpers. Each of the
4 “bumpers” are responsible for a
quarter of the field. If the ball is passed
to a neutral or the ball goes out of
bounds in their area, they are to pick it
up and toss it underhanded back into the
playing area to the team that passed it to
them. This way the players on the field
playing 4 v 4 will have to receive the
ball out of the air.
Self-to-Self Receiving: (20 minutes)
All players are dribbling in a 25x30 yard rectangle grid moving through each other. They try to
avoid collisions with other players and their soccer balls. When the coach yells, “Laces,” each
player picks up their soccer ball and serves it in the air to themselves. They attempt to receive the
ball with their “Laces” before it touches the ground. Once they have cushioned the ball to the
ground, they continue to dribble in the area. The coach can also include the commands “Thigh”
and “Chest.”
Tennis: (15 minutes)
Organize teams of 2, 3 or 4. Set up multiple tennis courts (size depends on the numbers
playing). For a doubles game (2v2), set up a grid 30-35 yards long x 15 yards wide. Include a
central 3 yard alleyway across the width of the court, made from cones, to represent the net.
Team A serves the ball from behind their end line with a volley or half-volley kick to Team B.
The ball must land in Team B’s half court to be GOOD. However, Team B can choose to play the
ball before the bounce or after the bounce. Depending on age and ability of the players, the rules
can allow 1-2 bounces on a side, with a 3-4 touch limit between teammates (this allows for
juggling). Balls can be headed or volleyed to the other Team’s side. Points can only be scored by
the team that served the ball. If a ball lands in the central alleyway, it is NO GOOD (like a tennis
ball going into the net). Follow regular tennis rules or adjust accordingly.
Receiving Square
Half the group with balls, half
without. Player without ball
runs to player on outside of
square with a ball. Player with
ball tosses ball underhand to
player who is running toward
them. Inside player receives
ball with a designated part of
the body and then passes it
back. Then they repeat it by
receiving a ball from someone
Coaching Points
1. First touch and importance
of cushioning ball
2. Get in line with the ball
3. Select controlling surface
4. Relax body part at impact.
Box to Box
Two players per team. Two boxes are
made approximately 20-30 yards apart.
There is a player from each team in one
box. One team starts the game. When the
ball is played to the other box, the
attacking team gets the opportunity to get
the first touch. Then they have to dribble
outside of the box (square) to receive a
point. The defending player is outside the
box and has to wait until the attacking
player gets the first touch. The defending
player tries to win the ball after the first
touch has been made. If the attacking
player is successful in bringing the ball
down and dribbling outside of the square
then they keep it. If the defending player
wins the ball after the first touch, then they
become the attacking team. Coach may
have to allow serving players to toss ball
in air and then strike it to their teammate
in opposite box.
Coaching Points
1. First touch and
importance of
cushioning ball
2. Get in line with
the ball
3. Select controlling
surface early
4. Relax body part
at impact.
5. Take first touch
away from where
pressure is
coming from.
3v3 +1 to targets: (20 minutes)
Play a 3v3 (+1 neutral) scrimmage in a 35 yds
long x 30 yds wide but the way to score is by
playing into a target player who needs to stay
centrally on the endline. If the target player can
get it under control, Point. The target player
will then distribute out to the opposite team
who will attack the other target player.
6v6 (4v2 in each half)
Play 4v2 in each half. Field is
50 x 30 yards with no one
allowed over half line. Four
players from each team go into
their defensive half of the
field. The other two players
go into the attacking half. The
defending players can only
defend with two. The other
two defending players retreat
back to their goal until
possession is retained or the
attacking team scores.
1. First touch and
importance of
cushioning ball
Get in line with the ball
Select controlling
surface early
Relax body part at
Take first touch away
from where pressure is
coming from.
Could make a restriction that
the ball played into other half
has to be in the air.
6v6 Scrimmage: (30 minutes)
Session should end with a
6v6 match (including
goalkeepers) played on a
field that is 45 to 60 yards
long by 35 to 45 yards wide
field size.
Control made easier by early
selection, getting in line of
flight of the ball, and relaxing
body part at impact.