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36 Drills in a Circle

German Training Concepts

  • Warm Up

  • Training Exercises

  • Competitions-Like Drills

Authors: Steven Turek / Peter Schreiner

Edited by: Peter Schreiner

Layout: Oliver Schreiner

Publisher: Institut für Jugendfußball

Pages: 50

Illustrations: 36


Prologue by Peter Schreiner & Steven Turek


Dear Coaching Colleagues,

Amateur- and youth coaches know the challenge to create a high-quality and for both players and coaches’ alike interesting training program additional to their day to day job burden. Simple, quickly arrangeable and highly variable Drills help to satisfy this aspiration. Exactly for this challenge we designed ‘36 Drills in a Circle’. We want to enable you as a coach to organize your routines plainly and highly variable at the same time with the necessary depth to coach in detail. 

The Drills are separated into three sections:

  1. Warm-Up

  2. Training Exercises

  3. Competition-Like Drills.


Partially you will find content or coaching's of a warm-up Drill in the chapter of training exercises, which allows you to optimally combine these different exercises and Drills among each other.

A common problem for many coaches is the number of players, which drastically varies in short term. With Drills and exercises in a circle, that challenge can easily be overcome: You either reduce or extend the circle, thus the involved number of players.

Remark: This blue remark will accompany you through the pages. It contains details, further remarks and/or additional hints.  

With this edition of ‘Practical Training Concepts’, we hope to not only present you concrete possibilities to design your training, but to additionally inspire you to enlarge your knowledge beyond Drills within a circle. The presented Drills and exercises serve you as examples, which you should creatively vary and complement.  

Enjoy reading, trying and varying,

Peter Schreiner & Steven Turek

Drills in a Circle

Dribbling with Troublemaker
Warm Up in the circle soccer

Warm Up

Organization: Six player position within the circle and six player position outside of the circle. Four players within are in possession, the others function as ‘Troublemakers’. Players in ball possession perform different skills, pass to outer players and switch positions. The troublemakers are allowed to win possession of any ball. A player, who loses his ball, becomes a new troublemaker. 

Coaching: The players shall learn to pass and secure their ball under pressure of an opponent. Players outside of the circle shall mindfully observe the situation and intentionally dribble into open space after receiving a pass.

Hint: Encourage your players to mindfully enter risky situations. Warn players, who only dribble short distances to pass the ball out again (the variation on the next page can prevent this).

Passing and Changing Position (2)
Drill in a Circle soccer

Drill in the Circle

Organization: Six or more players position outside of the circle. One player has a ball on his feet, dribbles into the circle. He randomly passes to a teammate (1) and receives the ball back one-touch (2). The ball is forwarded to a third teammate (3) and directly played into the forerun of the second player in the circle (4). The first player takes over the free position.

Coaching: Special focus must be paid to the distance between the combining players. The distance must be great enough and the combination over the third man takes place one-touch (in case of an open body position) or with two touches (closed body position).

Variation: The passing sequence is determined by the coach’s commands.

Remark: Also in this variation, all combinations with colors, commands or troublemakers are possible.

Play Clock- and Counterclockwise
Game in a circle Soccer

Game in a Circle

Organization: The circle is split up into three equally sized fields. Outside the circle, two regular goals with goalkeepers and one mini-goal are set up. The goalkeeper of the attacking team opens the play into the first third. Here, the attackers play three on one. They are challenged to reach the opposing goal counterclockwise to finish. If the ball arrives into a new field, one attacker is allowed to follow. The defenders stay in their fields. If the defenders gain possession of the ball, they counterattack themselves on the regular goal. If they successfully gain possession, the attacking-right switches. They can also counterattack onto the mini-goal midway in order to score.

Coaching: Players need to quickly recognize the situations, asses them and cleverly attack as well as defend.

Variations: To design the switch of the attacking-right more easily, the two attackers become neutral players and support the ball-possessing team.

The coaches outside the field can introduce new balls at all times. If he does, the old ball is of no matter anymore and it is played on from the latest situation with the new ball.

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