In this series of posts, we share with you some drills and session plans for you to apply to your training sessions.
Today we have a real classic. For some, this game may reignite some school memories. It’s a game that’s been played by generation after generation. That is Noughts & Crosses, also known as Tic-Tac-Toe.
I’m sure you are all aware of the aim of the game, to get three noughts or crosses in an either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line to win the game. The same aim applies to the conditioned game below. I have included a few examples and then a blank template for you to input your own conditions.
Before we get into the details of the conditioned game, I’d like to share with you this video by Hefeeda Productions that shows a range of finishing types. This may be really great to show your players before you get into the game to give them a visual example of these finishing types.
This conditioned game is one that I believe I came across whilst doing some research online for an upcoming session. I thought it was a brilliant idea and I have since used it with the majority of teams that I have worked with. This is a nice fun conditioned game to bring out every so often, to mix it up.
To set this up, you need to organise the players into 2 teams. It’s entirely up to you if you decide to use any other conditions alongside this, such as overloading one team or introducing a magic man (neutral player). Either way, you’ve got two teams and you need to explain that the winner of the game isn’t the one who scores the most goals, it is instead the winner of the game of noughts & crosses. Be sure to place the noughts and crosses board printout beside the pitch so the players can come over to check.
Hopefully what you will see is players attempting to try a range of finishes. However, what may surprise you the most is, that after the first goal or two, you’ll start to see players drift out to where the noughts and crosses board is placed. These players will start assessing how they can win the game by deciding what finish that they and their team need. Interestingly I value this just as much as the repetition of finishes. Be sure not to tell the players what they need to win, instead invite them to look at the board, and just listen. You may find that some of the quieter players in the team may start communicating with their team.
Pro tip: print and laminate these, that way you can use whiteboard markers and can re-use these again and again.
I have included 2 versions for you to have a go with below. Feel free to create your own using the 3rd image below, which is a blank template.
Verison 3 – Blank Template for you to add your own finishing types
Drop us a message in the comments section below if you’ve used this session before and let us know how it went.
Also if you have any great sessions that you’d like us to share or have found any online, then please let us know in the comments section.
You can also check out our other Drill Share Sessions by clicking here
Please don’t take the drill sources as gospel, we’ve tried to credit drills, especially those we’ve seen elsewhere, alternatively if that’s not possible, we’ve credited the coach that has put on that version of that drill. Please get in touch, using the comments section below if there’s another source.