Pre-match warm-up


Half pitch


Balls, cones, balls

No. of players

Full squad

This pre-mach warm-up helps us include different activities like mobility, active stretching, passing awareness practice, a possession game, patterns of play and sprints.

It’s important that the warm-up routine gives the players the best physical and mental preparation for the game that will follow. We try to prepare the whole body – muscles, joints, but mindset as well, to include technical and tactical abilities. Combining all of these elements helps players perform at the highest level during the game whilst maintaining concentration and helping to prevent injuries.

The warm-up would be started 35 minutes before kick-off.

What do I get the players to do?

Across a half pitch, set-up a number of exercises, each offering a different type of drill. Players move between each, switching from simple sprint runs, to stretch areas, short passing drills or mini-games. The specific exercises are important, but so  too is the idea that we are introducing dedicated time to concentrate on individual skills. Add an active zone for stretching exercise to be predetermined by the coach.

Passing Awareness Game.

Create a 25×20 yard square, with five players inside and five outside the area. Three balls are rolled in and players must move continually, trying different movements and passing in triangles, involving players in the area with short passes while also feeding longer balls to those outside the marked box. With no opposition, this promotes relaxed passing techniques.

Move this on so that it becomes a 5v5 Possession Game, using just one ball and incorporating a two-touch maximum rule.

Construct as many passes as possible., keeping a high tempo.

The Main Pattern Of Play Drill is built on the idea that there is no opposition.


• 1. The playing area is divided up so as to mark off individual exercises in designated areas.
2. Active stretching zone (5-6mins)
3. Passing awareness and possession games (5mins)
4. Short sprint zones (2mins)
5. Long sprint zones (3mins30secs)


• Players pass in triangles, varying short passing to those inside the box with longer passes to those who remain outside.


• Progress to a simple 5v5 possession game using just one ball.


Attacking Phase

Release the ball from the halfway line. Look for defensive central midfielders to build on the wings or through the middle.

• In the attacking phase, players construct forward patterns without the distraction of defenders.

Defensive Phase

This is used to cement understanding for the back four’s positioning. The coach releases the ball to the right-back, encouraging the defensive line forward as one, playing the ball from side to side. This simple advancement up the pitch acts as a strong psychological rehearsal for a competitive match.

• Utilise the wings as well to encourage long and short passing in attacking moves.

Sprint Drills

Set-up two lines of 15m, and two lines of 5m. For the 15m sprint, two teams race around parallel cones. Perform this exercise for 3mins 30secs.

For the 5m sprint, place teams in competition for between one and two minutes, ensuring that each player makes four or five sprints.

• In the defensive phase, defenders play sideways to build positional understanding.

What are the key things to look out for technically/tactically?

Physiologically, we want to be sure that the players are 100% ready whilst referencing all of the things learnt during the week in training. The six practices mentioned should take 25 minutes in total.


  • Ball movementBall movement
  • Player movementPlayer movement
  • DribbleDribble
  • Optional movementOptional movement