We are using this simple scrimmage variation in fall ball to play out tons of game situations at practice. Plus, our players are doing some really fun conditioning at the same time!
We were told many years ago that this drill comes from Richie Meade at the US Naval Academy (1994-2011). Coach Meade has since gone on to coach Team USA in the 2014 World Championships, and is currently with NCAA DI Furman University. There's so much running in this drill, it sounds like something Coach Meade would put Navy players through.
Imitate Game Situations as often as you can in practice. This Half-Field Drill is really a Game, requiring everything your players will need when they are out there Full-Field 10-on-10. It combines important technical and individual skills with situational awareness and communication skills your players will need with their teammates.
Run this drill any day you have lots of players. Fall Ball is a great time for lots of scrimmaging. Just let your kids play ball! We play this game 4-on-4, 5-on-5 and 6-on-6. With two teams of 6-on-6, this drill can use 20+ kids. Each team will need subs, trust us. Did we mention there's lots of running in this drill?
HERE'S THE DRILL:
You will need a marked field for this drill. If you don't have lines on your field, set out cones to mark the Midfield Line, Sidelines and End Line.
Figure 1.) Here we've illustrated a simple 4-on-4 situation to keep things simple. We've also ignored the subs for right now. Mix up all your players so every team has Attackers, Midfielders, and Defenders. You can start each rep of the drill any way you want- Ground Ball, Face Off, Shark Tank, Fire Ball, Shot on Goal, etc.
Play out this 4-on-4 to a Goal, Save or a Turnover. Enforce all the normal rules for a game- Out-of-Bounds, Loose-Ball Pushes, Personal/Technical Fouls, Quick Restarts, everything. Imitate game situations as closely as possible.