Soccer Skills:

Movement Based Warm-Up Part Three

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Soccer Skill: Warm-Up

Ages: u10+

These Movement Based Warm Ups provide a general framework for organising and structuring warm ups for your young players, and as such can be simply adapted or modified to include and challenge a variety of different football and movement skills alongside the development of teamwork, co-operation, decision-making and communication skills. Each of the three parts shown here illustrate a few of the large number of skills that can be practiced through this warm up framework.

Part Three: Is a the final development of the movement based warm ups and focusses more on developing the thinking and communication skills of the players, alongside the movement and football skills, as they react and move in response to calls from the coach and each other.

  • Number of Players: 8+
  • Equipment: One ball per pair
  • Time: 5-15mins
  • Set-up a four row grid with one column for every four players.
  • Arrange players in pairs, with two pairs per column, partners facing each other between the blue and yellow cones.

Players now face each other in pairs on either side of the column, one partner between the blue cones the other between yellow cones. Players can be in an active ‘ready position’ or could, for example, side-step between the cones whilst they pass a ball back and forth between themselves.

The mental/social challenge comes from the requirement for the players to listen/respond to instructions from the coach. For example:

  • “Inside Change” – players back to back on inside of grid (blue cones) swap places
  • “Outside Change” – players on outside of grid (yellow cones) swap places by running down right hand channel
  • “Partner Change” – players sending & receiving ball swap places with each other
  • “Ball Change” – player with ball must swap balls with another pair


The most important thing to remember is that this is an example warm-up structure and that the actual activities that can be used are many and varied, limited only by the your imagination. Have fun exploring the different possible variations and see how subtle changes to your warm-up structure can increase the fun and focus of the session!

Introduce further instructions such as:

  • “Right one” – all players move to the column one place to their right
  • “Inside left two” – all players on the inside of the grid move two columns to their left

Adding more instructions requires greater mental focus, so do not be too ambitious during your early trials with this warm-up! It is also important to allow the players the opportunity to problem solve for themselves, so do not rush in every time a player gets lost or the ball is mis-passed, instead stahnd back and see if they can figure it out for themesleves or each other. If not, then you can suggest and discuss different ways the might improve.

Tell The Team: (Remember - stay focused)

  • Warm up and practice like you would play. This includes how you would work and communicate together on the pitch
  • Remember this is a great time to try out, develop and master different skills so make the most of the opportunity
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    About the Author

    Richie Whall is a specialist speed & agility coach who has worked with international, professional and academy players and coaches across the UK. With a Masters degree in Sports Science and over ten years of coaching and coach education experience, he has created the Hex Training System to provide innovative and effective training aids and solutions for coaches, teachers, parents and young athletes, that enable them to realize their true physical potential.

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