Flying Monkey

by Scott Walsh
(Golden, CO)

Inspired from the mean flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, this drill encourages the young player 5-6 year old to go after and attack the ball on defense. Remember when the wicked witch says, "I'll get you my pretty, and your little ball (dog) too." I was always watching my players simply run along side the opposing player when that opposing player has the ball. They could have easily taken the ball away, but instead just ran along side them as they dribbled down the field and scored a goal - afraid to get in the other players way. Here's the game: I separate the kids at midfield in two lines, the regular group with a ball and the flying monkey group without a ball. Both groups or lines are facing the same goal and they are approx 5-10 yards apart. This is a 1v1 drill where one kid from the regular line starts dribbling toward the goal and tries to score. I give that kid a second or two head start before yelling, "flying monkey". At that point a kid from the flying monkey line runs as fast as they can to catch the player from behind and try to steal the ball. When they come back they switch lines.

The kids love being a flying monkey.

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