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Challenging Defenders in Grids

Field size: 50 yards by 10

Number of players: at least six players

Age range: 10-12

Description: Lineup six defenders in a grid and split up the are into ten-yard sections.  Each defender has a varying level of passivity within their space. The first defender in the first grid plays at a 20% level and then the last one at a 100% level, or full strength.  The field should be roughly 50 yards long and ten yards wide. 

There is no time limit, so players don't have to rush. They try to beat the first player and then setup to beat the next and so on.  But if the drill is dragging on, then call out that players only have a certain amount of time left to finish their run.

Sometimes momentum will help the player as they build up speed, so they may want to try to bust through all the defenders in one fell swoop like Messi or Maradona without slowing down too much.

Defenders start in the middle of their grid or area and can't wait at the beginning of the grid where the offensive player first enters.  See how many attacking players can get through the defenders gauntlet without losing the ball. This is a great drill to work on both dribbling and individual defending.

If the players are starting to get the hang of this drill, switch it to where defenders are playing all out right from the beginning, so you don't have defenders playing at half speed in the first sections of the drill.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

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