‘Game of Cones’ is a simple but really fun an effective football warm-up game to get kids focused and ready for their training sessions.
Great to use with children of all ages, Game of Cones works across all four corners of player development; physical, technical, social and mental. Players do lots of running, dribbling, communication and decision-making.
Your playing area can be as big or as small as you want. Create an end-zone one end of the area and scatter different coloured cones randomly around the area. At the other end, players are split into teams and begin at a starting line.
Each cones colour is worth a different value, so for higher value cones, have fewer available. You can use as many different coloured cones as you want. In the picture we have three cones; 4 x Blue = 10 points each, 8 x Red = 5 points each, 12 x Yellow = 1 point each.
Players take it in turns, relay style, to run from their base to the endzone, pick up a cone and return it to their base. High-five their next teammate who does the same, and repeat until all cones have been collected by the teams.
Winning team is the one who has the highest value of cones at the end.
There are no end of progressions that you can introduce; different styles of running, dribbling with a ball, different styles of dribbling, trap the ball on a certain spot or perform an exercise before collecting a cone.
Kids get excited by the competition of Game of Cones, and there is lot of talking and shouting to help each other pick the right cones. But be careful not to have too many players per team to reduce waiting time.
It can be quite tiring too, with lots of running, and players can’t ‘cheat’ by cutting their runs short – they have to go the whole way in order to collect a cone and earn points – so sufficient rest and refreshment after the game is important.
If the kids aren’t always going for the highest value cones, ask questions to guide them and help them in their decision-making.
The game really helps get kids mentally focused for training and is a terrific warm-up for fun and competitive elements.