By Matt Carroll -
This drill is a solid warm up activity for technical and mental activation for any age. The basic drill can be used for younger ages, while the rigor can be ramped up for more advanced ages. The drill starts with three cones, all different colors, each player with a ball lined up behind the middle cone, and the coach holding three cones that match the colors of the cone on the ground.
Players initially pass the ball back and forth between each foot until the coach holds up a cone, then players must stay in their line but move behind the correct cone, then start passing the ball back and forth between their feet again. The coach can add an additional verbal cue if need be.
The next stage of the drill would be for the coach to walk around the players as they dribble so when the verbal/visual cue is given players must track the coach while performing the technical activity. This means that players must continue to perform their technical work while maintaining a 360 degree recognition of the field of play.
In the final stage players dribble around the full grid, and upon hearing the visual/verbal cue they must form a line, while dribbling, at the appropriate cone. Players should be instructed that it is not a race to get to the line, but recognizing where, based on their positioning, they will fit in the line. The challenge becomes communicating with their teammates to quickly and effectively form the line, all the while executing the required technical skills. Now players are implementing awareness, technical ability, spatial recognition, and communication all at the same time.
By Matt Carroll