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Hickory, Dickory, Dock

Foot Skills, Agility
Comment:
This is both a good warm-up game and a good game to calm a practice that is too rowdy or hyper.
A lot of the SoccerHelp games involved competition, which is part of the reason why they are so effective. Sometimes, it’s helpful to take a break from hard running and competition, and this game is good for that. I use it in the middle of practice, and I do it every single practice without exception. It is a fundamental skill that needs to be practiced every time you see your players.

Teaches:
Bottom of the foot skill, agility.

Set-up:
This game is incredibly simple and fast to set up. Every player starts with their ball at their feet.

The Game:
To the rhythm of the nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock”, players alternate touching the ball with the bottom of their feet, alternating feet, left to right. It is critical to demonstrate this first to your players and you must tell them that they just lightly touch the ball; they do NOT stand on it!!! All their weight stays on the foot on the ground.
The rhythm goes like this: “Hickory, Dickory Dock” [3 touches, then pause] “The mouse went up the clock” [3 touches, then pause], the clock struck one [3 touches, then pause] , the mouse came down [3 touches, then pause] , Hickory Dickory Dock [3 touches, then pause]
Beginners and younger players will need to go slowly, just stepping at first. Gradually, you can increase the speed and the stepping becomes hopping, but this takes a while to get good enough to hop. Very young player make take months of stepping before they can hop, don’t worry, adjust to their pace.

Time:
This game only takes about 30 seconds to play. You can play it 2 or 3 times in a very short span of time.

Comments:
This game practicing a very fundamental skill that I believe is very important to teach. I do this every practice, always, without exception. You’ll be amazed how good they get at this, and it is a good building block for other practice games that use stopping the ball by using the bottom of the foot.