[I was looking for this and couldn’t find it, so I either have never written it up or didn’t categorize it very well.]
I find this a great way to teach and assess adapting to changes in play and changing the point of attach, as well as focusing on specific kinds of attacks (crosses, 1 v 1s, overloads, etc.), all of which can be easily incorporated into the game.
- I’ve usually done this with three goals in a slightly shortened half field, but any number more than two would do (though I suspect anything more than four or five would become unwieldy; with that said, the more goals involved, the more the game emphasizes the mental aspect).
- (The shortened half field is because I usually only have one full-size goal, and so I pull the cone goals away from midfield.)
- Can be played with any kind of goals, but preferably different types, e.g. one full size plus Pug-nets, etc.
- Each goal is numbered 1, 2, and 3. I usually start with the full-sized goal as 1 and move clockwise from there.
- Teams of between five and eight depending on size of field. Can be played with more than two teams but this can get unwieldy.
- Essentially a game of keep away.
- As play develops, the coach ‘activates’ one of the goals by calling out the number.
- Once a goal is activated, the game is live: the team with the ball attacks and the team without defends.
- The live game can go as long as the coach wants, i.e. it can go back to keep away once the attacking team loses possession or the defending team can attack the activated goal if they gain possession.
- The game goes back to keep away and the coach continues to ‘activate’ goals throughout.
- You can see how the activation of goals can create specific situations in the natural flow of play.
- If, say, everyone is focusing on goal #1, I can activate one of the other goals to force them to change the point of attack quickly.
- If two players find themselves isolated, I can activate the nearest goal to create a 1 v 1 situation and talk about both offensive and defensive support.
- If the ball ends up on a wing, I can activate the full goal to focus on crosses and/or wing play.