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Simply Football

Ring Around the Parent

(Turning, dribbling, stopping)
This is another good turning game. It also has very heavy congested traffic to dribble through. Combines well with Animal Soccer.

Dribbling, turning, stopping.

Set up a line of ball similar to monster kicks, place every kid with a ball on that line, and place a parent 20’ or so out in front or a cone or yourself if you don’t have a parent.

The Game:
When you blow the whistle, they have to dribble out around that parent and come back to where they started and stop. They all do it at the same time. The first one back and stopped on the starting line wins. It is not simply the first one back that wins, because often a player will keep going past the starting line, to win, they must get back to the start and STOP the ball. If they overshoot the starting line, they have to regain control, turn, and come back to the starting line.

Try to do this about 6 to 8 times. Each one is pretty fast.

This game creates a huge amount of congestion around the parent which is excellent for teaching them to control the ball, and turn it, in heavy traffic, which very closely simulates the conditions that they will be in while trying to turn in a real match.
It also teaches the difference between “speed dribbling” and “control dribbling”. When they have open space, they can go faster, but in order to turn around the parent, they have to go slower with more control, and usually in very crowded conditions. Once clear the parent, they can go faster again, but they must be under control to stop back where they started.
This is an excellent control dribbling game, and a very effective way to self teach dribbling and ball control. It also forces their heads up to avoid getting run over.
Variation 1: Dribble around a parent and shoot. To play this have them start next to a goal, they dribble around the parent and on the way back, shoot it into the goal. First to score wins.
Variation 2: Combine with Animal Soccer: The first one back get to choose the next animal, unless they have already chosen. Continue until every player has had a chance to choose an animal.