Steps Principle

Adjust each, or any, of the following in order to provide different challenges for players and to meet the needs of the individual:



  • Increase/Decrease size of area


  • Change shape of area (circle to encourage players to move around area and not stand in corners as young players may do in a square / rectangle; triangle to illustrate tight corners etc.)



  • Place increased or decreased time frames in which to achieve a target e.g. 90 seconds to visit as many different cones/pass through as many gates as possible and record score.


  • Vary task for more / less competent players. (e.g. try to pass the ball in a DIFFERENT way)


  • Vary tasks for individual players’ needs (dribble/pass/defend) – so dribbling for those who need practice and small groups (2s and 3s) of players passing for those who need to practice that aspect of play.


  • Use handball activities to embed principles of play, then go to feet



  • Increase/Decrease number of cones/gates or add different coloured Cones/gates. Use mannequins, rebound surfaces.
  • Provide different equipment for players – different balls (American Football, size 3, tennis ball) or other equipment e.g. Frisbee



  • More players / fewer players.


  • No pressure/ Unopposed


  • Create overloads to build success (e.g. 5v2) – create Underloads to provide a challenge (e.g. 4v5)


  • Passive pressure (“interference” = lots of other players/other player performing same/similar action with a ball e.g. turns or dribbles)


  • Full pressure (1v1, 2v2, game etc.)




  • The game is inherently dangerous to an extent, but ensure safety aspects are well managed and don’t allow practice or games to become unnecessarily dangerous.