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Monkey in the Middle Soccer

by Sarah on October 18, 2010

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This is a great way to get some running in with interval sprints, work on your reaction time and soccer skills and have fun.

Play monkey in the middle with a soccer ball.

You can do this with any number of people. However you get the best workout with two players on the outside and one on the inside (the monkey).

How To Play

The two players on the outside pass the ball back and forth. The monkey (the player in the middle) has to try to get the ball away from the other two. Or – if you want to increase the challenge – only has to touch the ball.

If the monkey gets the ball, the player who was about to receive the intercepted pass has to go into the middle.

However there is an exception to this rule.  If the other player made a really bad pass, inviting an easy interception, then they go in the middle.

You’ll discover quite quickly that you can’t just stand and kick the ball back and forth. The monkey can just stand between the two of the two outside players and intercept the ball.

To keep the ball away from the monkey in the middle, the outside players need to constantly run to a spot on an angle from their teammate.

And the monkey has to constantly be moving into position as well.

It can turn into a really fast-paced game with lots of movement and fun.

Customize The Game

If you’ve got younger players or you’re just working on passing skills, simply tone it down and move a little more slowly.

If you have more than 3 players, you have a few options:

  • You can rotate one in. Once the monkey gets the ball, instead of replacing one of the players on the outside, they get a break. The person who was waiting then gets to take over one of the outside positions.

  • Alternatively, you can add more monkeys in the middle or add more outside players. Keep in mind, however, that these additions can up the challenge to the game exponentially.

Do you have a favorite soccer drill you like to do with your kids? Let us know in the comments below . . .

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