Warm Up soccer Drill - Ankle Slaps

Ankle Slaps Warm Up

This unique & fun activation game is a great warm-up drill to get your players moving, competing, and smiling while developing defending skills at the same time.

Ankle Slaps Warm Up Drill

Set Up The Drill

Set up a 25x 25-yard grid using small cones. You can also do this activity without a grid, so all you really need is a grass area. Next, split the players up into pairs. Have each partnership find their own space and tell them to stand facing each other approximately one yard apart.


All partnerships play at the same time. The goal of the game is to get a point by ‘slapping’ your partner’s ankle. Play for 90 seconds, and whoever gets the most points wins. Have the players switch partners and repeat.

During the activity, the following rules apply:

  • Each partner must stay on their feet at all times.
  • Only open hand slaps are allowed (i.e., no grabbing, hitting, etc.)

Progression: Battle Mode

Have all players compete against each other at the same time. After a player has slapped someone’s ankle, they must slap another player’s ankle before returning to the same player again. Play for two minutes, and whoever has the most points at the end wins.

Coaching Points

This is a great warm-up game for practicing general 1v1 defensive body stance. Specifically;

  • Players should keep their knees bent and stay low to the ground.
  • Players should stay ‘side on’ to their partner, exposing one ankle only (Instead of being square on and displaying two).
  • Players should use quick, sharp turns, and ‘stop steps’ to change direction.
  • Players should keep their balance on the balls of their feet as they move and pivot.