On the ball skills

Start & organisation

  • Have poles set up as shown in setup and divide into groups evenly
  • Each group will work through each progression at the same time:
    • Progression A: go to pole, turn and come back
    • Progression B: go around the pole and to the other side
    • Progression C: place a passive defender at the pole to go around and to other side

Timings: 10-15 minutes
Pitch area: Large square
Other rules: N/A


  • Encourage players to have a change in pace to accelerate away after dribbling or using skill at pole
  • Introduce specific skills they can practice (e.g. stepover, Cruyff turn, Maradona spin etc)

What to look for

  • Are players scanning constantly as they move the ball?
  • Are players using the inside of their foot as the dominant habit?
  • Are players being creative with their on the ball skills?

What the coach can do

  • Challenge players with individual tasks, such as trying new skills or going faster or slower
  • Demonstrate specific skills that players can practice, or get players to demonstrate for the group