Team Knockout | Warm-Up Drill

This competitive and fun warm-up game encompasses plenty of touches on the ball whilst encouraging the development of passing and receiving skills and dribbling and shielding. It is a fun and popular activity that you can use at the start of almost any session to get the players warmed up and ready to play.

Team Knockout – Soccer Warm Up Drill

AGE: 6-8 and 9-11 Years
TOPIC: Passing And Receiving
SUB TOPIC: Dribbling and Shielding the Ball
DURATION: 15 Minutes

Set Up The Drill

Set up a 25×35 yard grid using small cones. You will also need pinnies in two separate colors and at least enough balls so there is one for every two players.


Split the players up into two teams and put them in pinnies. One team starts inside the grid with a ball each and the other team stands outside the grid without any balls. Upon the coach’s call, the defending team sends in 1 player to try and kick each of the offensive players’ balls out of the grid. Every 20 seconds the defending team sends an additional player in until all the defensive players are in the grid.

Once an offensive player loses their ball they can support another one of their teammates who still has a ball. At this point, the offensive team can now shield, dribble and pass to try and keep as many balls in the grid for as long as possible. Once all the balls have been kicked out of the grid the teams switch roles. The coach should time how long it takes each team to kick all their opponents’ balls out of the grid, declaring the team with the best time as the winners!


Have all the defenders enter the grid at the same time. This will result in quicker games so you can play more times!

Coaching Points

  • Players should utilize good shielding and dribbling skills to maintain possession of the ball.
  • Players should support teammates at realistic angles (remain clear and visible).
  • Players should keep their head up and be spatially aware throughout the game.
  • Player should look to take their first touch away from pressure when receiving the ball.