The 25th in our series on the favorite exercises of college coaches comes from Mario Rincon. Coach Rincon is the assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast University. Prior to FGCU, he spent time as an assistant at Wright State, Baylor, Duke, and Lynn. He has attained the USSF A License and the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. The following is his favorite exercise:
Create a grid on top of the penalty box (adjust size for your players ability level). Divide the grid in half with a line parallel to the touch lines. The game starts with each team of 5 players in different sections of the grid and a goalkeeper in the goal. When the coach plays the ball into one section of the grid, the opponent may send 3 players to defend in the grid. The possessing team attempts to complete four passes while the defending 3 attempt to win possession and pass the ball to their teammates waiting in the other section of the grid. If the defending team succeeds, they will join their teammates and attempt to complete four passes while their opponent sends 3 defenders. If the possessing team succeeds in completing four passes, they may wither shoot directly for goal or play a through pass into the penalty box to a teammate. The opponent may not defend the player that was played into the penalty box in the initial exercise. Progress to allowing the defending team to send a player to defend the player in the penalty box, but the defender must come from their own section of the grid (where the two players are). Progress To allowing an extra forward to join the player, creating a 2v1.