Summary – This is a simple game (the best kind!) that is similar to Hit the Coach, except instead of chasing the coach, all the kids chase one of the players who has the Special Target Ball (a brightly colored ball that is a different color from everyone else’s ball OR as an alternative, put a special jersey or practice vest on the kid who is going to be chased). The brightly colored ball is best because when it is hit by another ball, it will be easier for the coach to see it if it is a bright color).
- Make the kids stay within a defined area so they learn to pull a ball back before it goes out of bounds.
- Get a Special Target Ball (a brightly colored ball that is a different color from everyone else’s ball).
- Give one kid the Special Target Ball and he dribbles off. All the others chase him and try to tag him ball-to-ball-style by kicking their ball into the Special Target Ball.
- The kid being chased gets to keep going until another kid hits his ball and then the kid that tagged him gets the Special Target Ball and he is the one being chased. Or if the kid being chased loses control and goes outside the boundaries, then the kid who forced him out of bounds gets the Special Target Ball if you can tell who forced him out (if you aren’t sure who forced him out, just choose one of the kids who was in the group that forced the kid out of bounds to get the Special Target Ball and have a turn to be chased).
- Try to give every kid a chance to have the Special Target Ball and be chased even if they haven’t actually earned that chance because it is good for all the kids to be the one being chased and also to do the chasing.
This Game Teaches – The kids learn to control the ball, change directions, cut back, speed dribble, to change speeds, dribbling in and through traffic, to look up while dribbling, find open space (the kid who is being chased learns that), stay inside the field, accuracy in kicking the ball, they get used to getting bumped and to chaos, instinctive reactions and composure while dribbling in a crowd, and they get lots of touches on the ball, all while under pressure and having fun in a competitive way (although they don’t think of it as competitive).They will naturally start to use both feet. This game and Hit the Coach are the 2 best Ball Control Practice Games and this one teaches even more than Hit the Coach.