Modified/Conditioned FOOTBALL Games

  • Each session should last no more than an hour and thirty minutes.
  •  The session should be broken down as follows:
  1. Warm up                                          10 minutes.
  2. Hand & kick passing drills                20 minutes.
  3. Tackling                                            20 minutes.
  4. Shooting practice                             20 minutes.
  5. Game                                               20 minutes
  • These times may vary depending on your teams’  strengths or weaknesses.

1.     Warm up

Warm up as normal incorporating stretches, then proceed to the next part of warm up.

All players in square.

10-12 balls for 20 players.

Jog in all directions making and receiving hand passes.

  • Coach makes calls such as “drop the ball, pick up and hand pass”, or “two solos and hand pass” or “one solo, high catch and hand pass.”


2.   Hand passing

Drill No.1

                                   A                                                         B

                                                    a                        b

                                                    c                        d

                                   C                                                          D

  • Make a square approx 10m X 10m.
  • Make a smaller square a,b,c and d inside as shown.
  • 5-6 players at cones A,B,C and D.
  • Group at A work with cone a, Group B with b etc so they can ease into drill.
  • Player at A solos out around cone a and hand pass back to next player and so on. Increase intensity as you progress.
  • Vary drill by moving to the left or right as follows. First player at A solos around cone a but hand passes to second player at C. First player at C has already gone around cone c and hand passed to second player at D. First player at D and B do same.
  • Change direction to the right.
  • Emphasis on concentration and accuracy.

Coaching Tip: Make sure players hand pass with both strong and weak hand.


Drill No. 2

Truck and trailer.

  • You can use same square as above but make it a bit bigger, taking out small square.
  • 5-6 in each group at 4 outside cones.
  • 2 balls going at one time at the start and a third can be introduced as drill goes on.
  • Ball at A and C
  • A hand passes to B, B gives it back to A and follows on with A.
  • A hand passes to C and goes to the back of group C.
  • C passes to B and follows with B.
  • B passes to D and goes to back of group D.
  • D passes to C and follows.
  • C passes to A and goes to back of group A and so on.
  • Ball at C starts at the same time as A so two balls moving at pace.
  • Emphasis on clear strike in hand pass.

Coaching Tip: Watch for players cutting corners.

Drill No.3

A                             C                             E                              G                             I                            K                             M                            B

                                D                             F                              H                             J                            L

  • Using all your players, place a player at each cone X as shown above, arms length apart, starting at one sideline.
  • This can be used as a fun exercise also.
  • Start with 6 balls at A.
  • A passes to B, B to C, C to D and so on.
  • When A has all 5 balls passed to B he sprints to other end to carry on the chain, B does likewise and so on until players get to the opposite sideline.
  • Repeat exercise working back across pitch again. Introduce an extra ball.

Coaching Tip: Make sure players are not throwing the ball.


3.     Kick passing.

 Drill No.1

                A                                           e                                              B


                f                                                                                             h

               C                                             g                                             D

  • 4 even groups at A, B, C and D with a ball at A and D.
  • A solos around B and kicks towards g where second player from D runs to collect and solos around C and kicks towards e where player from A collects and so on.
  • First player in group D starts at the same time as A and goes in same direction.
  • Change direction and get players to kick with weaker foot if possible. Introduce a third ball if drill is going smoothly.

Coaching Tip: Passes must be accurate and players must time their runs to receive ball.

Drill No.2

                                A                                                                             B


E                                                                                                                                              F



G                                                                                                                                             H


                                C                                                                             D

  • 3 players at A,B,C and D
  • 2 players at E,F,G and H
  • Start with a ball at A and D.
  • A kicks to C, C hand passes to player running from G. G kicks to H, H hand passes to player running from D and so on.
  • Change direction.
  • Emphasis on accurate kick pass and intensity when the drill is running smoothly.

Coaching Tip: Kick pass off front of boot for greater accuracy.

Drill No.3




                                                                B                             D





  • Two players at each cone A,B,C and D so you will have three groups going the same time.
  • This drill incorporates both short and long kick passes.
  • A hand passes to B. B kicks to D. D hand passes to C and C kick passes to A and so on.
  • Again, emphasis on accuracy and intensity.

Coaching Tip: Drill should be done at high intensity to achieve maximum benefit.



4.     Tackling

Drill No.1

A                                             B



                                C                                             D


  • One player at A, B, C and D
  • Two players in the middle, one defender and one attacker.
  • Two balls in group at either of outside players.
  • Attacker receives ball from outside, beats defender and passes back to outside player with no ball. Attacker cannot pass it back to person he received it from or pass it to player with a ball.
  • 30 seconds on at a time and then change places with two from outside.
  • Reverse roles next time in.

Coaching Tip: No hand passing over opponents head.

Drill No.2

  • Divide players into pairs
  • The aim of this drill is to get players to legitimately tackle an opponent in possession of the ball.
  • A solos towards opposite side of field with B alongside trying to dispossess by getting near hand in and out quickly.
  • If player B uses his outside hand he is more likely to commit a foul.
  • Change roles on the way back.

Coaching Tip: Make sure tackler competes hard to dispossess player with the ball.

Drill No.3

2 v 2 with goalkeeper

  • Two forwards versus two defenders.
  • Forwards must complete more than three passes before taking a shot at goal.
  • Repeat three times.
  • Give defenders a chance to attack so forwards must defend.

3 v 3 with goalkeeper.

  • Same as 2 v 2 but forwards must complete more than four passes before taking a shot at goal.

2 v 3

  • Two forwards up against three defenders.

Same concept as above but take away pass limit.

                3 v 2

  • Three forwards up against two defenders.


  1. 5.     Shooting

Drill No.1

                                                                                                                 D                                                                                              A



                                                                                              E                            B



  • Four even groups at A, B, C and D.
  • A kicks to C and goes to back of group.
  • C hand passes to B on the run.
  • B kicks over the bar.
  • D returns ball to A.
  • Each player gets at least three kicks at goal.
  • Change side of pitch.
  • B kicks to A and passes to E to shoot.
  • Repeat as above.
  • You can get players to follow their pass as a variation.

Coaching Tip: Watch for players shooting styles. Use instep for greater accuracy.

Drill No.2



  1. Two teams, one team with bibs.
  • Players can only shoot from outside perimeter in either direction.
  • Teams must compete to win ball back again after a shot at goal.
  • Set teams a target score.

Coaching Tip: Deduct a point if they shoot from inside the perimeter. This should keep them focus

Shamrocks GAA Club, August 2011