These unique cognitive soccer training exercises are fun for players. The exercises force players to come up with solutions and strategies to best solve the problems each game presents. First exercise #1 “Over The Line” – Players are not allowed to break any of the black lines with a pass on the ground, each time the ball crosses over a line into a new square the ball must be played in the air over the line. The rule forces players to think about their positioning on the field and they must be aware of the location of teammates. Teams each have two small goals they can score on. To build the exercise from simple to complex – add variables such as: touch restrictions, add another goal, require the goals to be taken first time out of the air, add neutral player, play 1-touch over the line only, all back passes 1-touch only etc. The idea is work from simple to complex creating a cognitive overload that players must handle.
Exercise #2 “4v4+2N – in this game scoring must be from outside the middle zone. The team in possession is 6v4 (2N) – the objective is to create space to chip the ball into a container located in the middle zone of the grid. If the ball travels to the opposite grid the 2 neutral players will follow the ball and join the next grid (playing for whatever team is in possession of the ball). Teams can also play a ball across to the same color team in the opposite grid who can first time finish into a container. This is a fast moving game that can get very creative. Create variables so the game goes simple to complex. Variables can be anything from touch restrictions, making it mandatory to use a neutral player first, make the first two touches mandatory 1 touch etc.
Feel free to make adjustments to these exercises as you see fit. The idea is to make your players better problem solvers and thinkers while playing out of tight situations with limited space and time. If you try the exercises feel free to send me an email with you feedback!