This is a shooting game designed to rehearse the skills necessary to jostle for position and then attempt a shot on goal from a chipped or crossed ball. (Thanks again to Marty at the St. Louis Busch soccer camps.)
Here is the basic game.
Divide your players into about 4 groups of either 2 or 3 players. Gather them in front of the goal in positions they might assume for a corner kick. Put your usual goalie in goal.
The coach will cross a ball from the side into the group of players. Initially, the players try to "first-time" it into the net from the air. If unsuccessful, they try to shoot after the bounce and players on the same team can pass to each other to get a good shot.
The goalie gets a lot of action trying to catch or smother the ball as it pings back and forth in front of the goal.
The coach should have lots of soccer balls and stop the play if they don't manage a shot quickly, or the ball is fumbled away from the goal. Then he should immediately serve in another cross to start a new attempt. Give them about 10-15 seconds for this attempt and then stop it to serve in a fresh ball.
The first "round" of play is called the "naming round". So the first team that scores comes off the field (briefly), behind the goal, and they can choose what country they will represent in the "World Cup". The next team to score then picks their country and then leaves the field. When all the teams have picked a country you are ready for the "cup round".
All the players come back onto the field for the "cup round". They take up their scoring positions and the coach serves in the cross. Each time a team scores, they gather behind the goal until there is only one team left. That team is eliminated and joins the coach down the wing to help him serve in the crosses.
At that time the remaining teams come back to the field and play is resumed until another team is eliminated. Eventually, you will be down to the last 2 teams (e.g. Brasil vs. England) and the one that scores is the "cup winner". Then all the players come back to the field and you start with the naming round.
Redirecting aerial crosses can be very difficult. Don't expect the younger players to do well at this game initially. In fact, weeks of skills work with emphasis on chest traps, headers and volleys is the way to prepare for success. It's a good time to aproach the subject of near post, far post, and "loitering" positions.
The goalie can get a lot out of this drill! They will need to fight their way to high balls and scramble for rollers. They have to decide whether to leave their line or stay at home.
This document maintained by James King