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Pirates of the Pugg

Focus of the drill

A fantastic soccer drill that revolves around using a Pugg Goal, and the drill offers great flexibility to focus on different aspects of the game. If you are coaching younger players, around the age of 8-11, the main objective should be to focus on improving the dribbling technique while dribbling past several opponents. This helps players to develop vision and awareness. The drill can be very effective in coaching transitional play, with fast moving of players from offense to defense when losing the ball, trying to quickly react and recover the ball or stop break play with tackles. This also works well for helping defenders practice not only the recovery of the ball, but also to have a target to aim for, simulating how they can play the ball to a teammate when under pressure.

Drill Setup

Create a circle that is approximately the size of the center circle of a full size pitch, setting up a Pugg Goal in the middle of the circle. Hover adjustments may need to be made in accordance with the age and skill level of the players. Set up with 12 players inside the playing area, divided into 9 players with a ball, and the remaining 3 without a ball (these are the Pirates).

Pirates of the Pugg

How to play?

Tell the Pirates (who are without a ball), to defend the players with a ball. Once a Pirate has stolen the ball from the attacker, he/she should attempt to put the ball in the Pugg Goal that is at center circle. Once a Pirate has scored a goal, the attacking player that lost the ball will also become a Pirate. The game continues until the last player in possession of a ball is left standing. In situations where the Pirates are struggling get started against the attackers, the coach can then step in to help them at the beginning of the game.

Coaching Tips

The attackers need to focus on keeping their head up for awareness of the on-coming defenders, look to exploit space that opens up and to make sure they recover as quickly as possible when they lose the ball and try to win it back immediately.

The defenders need to make sure that they are quick on their feet, transitioning from defense to offense immediately upon winning the ball and try to hit the target.

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