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Pre-Season Warm-Up Games

Igniting energy into a training session can sometimes be a challenge in pre-season, particularly when teams are together every day and fatigue levels start to get higher. Although it's natural for the routine of training to take a toll, it can become detrimental for the team if it impacts the training session. Starting a session in an uptempo manner can move focus towards optimal levels and help spark enthusiasm into a group of players. Engagement can be achieved through a variety of ways: variation, fun, competition, or sometimes simply challenging a specific technique can get a great response from a team. This week we take a look at three possession based warm-up games that can drive tempo and energy in a training session.

Below is a YouTube breakdown detailing three exercises. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe to our MSC YouTube page.

Please find the information and dimensions for all the exercises below:

4v4+2 Transfer Game

-       Ten players are organized into two teams of four, plus two neutrals (you could use your goalkeepers here)

-       The exercise will take place on a 15x25 yard area, which is split into three zones.

-       The game will start with a possession team that has two players on each side, plus a neutral.  The defending team (blue) will start with four defenders in the middle zone

-       The objective of the game is for the possession team to use their 3v2 advantage to complete a minimum of two passes and then transfer the ball to the other possession team in the far zone

-       Two players on the defending team are aggressively pressing the ball, while the other two are screening passes in the middle zone.

-       If the ball is transferred, the pressers will become screeners and the screeners then become pressers. When the pressing team (blue) wins possession, they are looking to score immediately in transition in any of the mini-goals.

-       Play 4v3 minute games and switch roles after each game. One point is awarded for every successful transfer, while two points are awarded for the pressing team scoring in the mini-goals.

5v3 Breakout Game


-       Players are organized into two teams of five players and two goalkeepers.

-       Game is played in a 15x25 yard area with a 10x10 yard area in the middle

-       One team starts with five players in the middle zone against three defenders.

-        The objective is to keep possession against the three central defenders

-       Defensive team keep one player outside the central zone on each side

-       After five consecutive passes, the blue team can score in one of the mini-goals

-       If the red team win possession, they can pass to one of the outside players and look to score on either of the outside goals

5v2 Possession Transition Game

-       Ten players are organized into two teams of five players each and positioned into two 15x15 yard grids.

-       The coach starts the game by playing into one of the grids.

-       Two defenders sprint across and it becomes a 5v2.

-       The objective for the possession team (in red) is to complete three passes and then score in any of the mini-goals in their grid. If they are successful, they are awarded one point and get the ball back on the restart from the coach.

-       The defensive team are aiming to win possession and transfer it back to their grid.

-       Once they complete a pass to the other grid, the roles then reverse and the red team sends two players over to press in a new 5v2 situation.

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