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How to train with intensity?

I coach a school girls 1st football team. In terms of having training intensity as we head into championship round, is there any drills or advice you can give me for ideas? I tell them to train during a drill like it’s a game but think they need some other form to replicate an intense environment.

Hi Benjamin, 

The key is to get your players playing at a high enough level of intensity so that they are then prepared for a big game situation. One way of doing this is including a conditioned game or a practice match at the end of your training session, to get them working to a high intensity and playing as if it were a real game. It's important to get your players also communicating well with each other, so that they can take that onto the pitch. 

We've included one of our popular conditioned games for you to try out, so you can get your players keeping possession and communicating with one another. 

Hope that helps!

The Sportplan Team


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2 teams. Each team has their own area in which they keep possession by passing the ball around.

The other team can send one player across to try and win the ball for their side. If they manage to win possession the roles reverse and the other team passes the ball inside their own area.

The winning team is the first team to put 10 passes together without losing the ball.

Coaching Points:

The aim of this drill is for players to practice winning back and keeping possession!

With more advanced players, allow 2 players in to the opposition's area to try and win back possession for their team.



I coach many boys who have a similar attitude sometimes. If you start adding some competition into it (2 teams competing, losing team has a forfeit?) then the boys suddenly work and try as hard as they can because they dont want to lose!


I find its not so much the drills themselves that make the difference but adding some extra spice like competition. Some days my boys are wanting to work hard and they try 100% in all exercises... sometimes they are more lethargic, so I will have to add this to get them going.

Something I have been using a lot recently is short bursts of activity with rest between these. For example possession. I have been working for 90 seconds of high intensity with a 30-50 second rest between the rounds. Since doing this, the intensity in those 90 seconds are far higher than when we just play normal possession games.


Short bursts of high intensity. Let them know so they know they have to work really hard for the 90 seconds. It works ;)

After 40 years coaching all levels and ages, I have reached a stage where I can run any session no matter what the subject matter is by observing 3 elements that MUST be included.

They are THE 3 C's:


As long as you provide thses elements then players will operate at the necessary level of intensity without degradation in performance.


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  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans