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Warm-up drills to get players thinking?

Can someone suggest a really good warm-up drill or exercise to get players thinking/concentrating/making decisions? I.e. something prior to a match, after having done a physical warm-up, dynamic stretches, any SAQ and technical stuff

Gary this one might help

The only thing you might want to chance is to let every player stand in their position on the pitch and then pass the 3 ball around.

The substitute players can warm up the keeper.

Let me know if this is what your looking for


Warm up exercise for vision and talking

Video / Animation
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Spread your team anywhere inside the half of a pitch. Only give your team 3 balls.

You may pass the ball around to anyone inside the half. This will create a lot of talking and activity.

Do this exercise for about 5 minutes. It is important that the players keep talking and moving off the ball, always making themselves available to receive the ball.

For quick decision making do the same exercise inside the circle.

Hi Bram

Thanks for the reply.

After posting my question, I did see there is a warm-up games category in the Drills Section and the one you've chosen was the only one I thought looked good... but to answer your question, yes it is exactly the kind of thing I want!

Anyway, I tried the drill last Sunday, but deliberately in the Circle, in the hope of getting lots of quick, snappy passing going, but unfortunately too many people just ended up staying in their bit of the Circle i.e. apart from the guys who are good CMs / CHs - who have to move and check different passing options/angles - people were disappointingly static.

Perhaps it's too congested to get movement, when in the Circle? Equally well, I thought there would be too much space in the half-pitch, so people would be lazy and just stand still?

I think the main thing is to try and force players to move and hunt for the ball. Any suggestions?

  • Maybe you're not allowed to pass back to the same person?
  • Perhaps say you HAVE to move 5m before making or receiving another pass?


In my experience 3 balls being passed round at pace is very active.

But I do agree that the players don't  necessary run a lot so what you could do is position the players in position on half a pitch with a 3 double player where the 3 balls start and for a couple of minutes players have to follow their own pass.

Make sure that their is an agreed area for each position 

Important is that the team maintain their shape so when ever the practice stops the team still has a player in each position.

Have Fun


hi Bram

Nice suggestion regarding following the pass. Will give it a go on a half pitch and let you know how it works out.

Many thanks,

Here is a liitle animation.

I have attached an animation for the previous idea

One other way of doing this if you have only got 10 players give each player 2 cones each which they have to place about 5 to 10 metres apart in their position and tell the player that they have to receive the ball by one cone and pass it from the other so they are constantly running with the ball and running back to receive the next ball.

Let me know how you get on


Attached Plan: Pass and follow exercise
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Ok... I can see the attached session but when I click on it, nothing happens.


Should be working now.

hey Bram

Yeah... that's fine now. Thanks very much.


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  • search our library of 1000+ hockey drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans