Center of Town

Drill Purpose

Center of Town is a dribbling, shooting, and defensive drill. Both offensive and defensive players practice important parts of their game. Offensive players practice dribbling and feinting skills in a confined area. Defensive players practice tackling and clearing skills. Players enjoy the pace and competition of this drill.


1. Two players compose each drill group.

2. Four cones are placed on the corners of the 20-yard square in front of the goal area.

3. A dribbles between the flags and tries to beat the defensive player through the Center of Town. A must stay within the confines of the flags while dribbling towards the goal.

4. A is allowed to shoot at the goal, but only after passing the last set of flags.

Points of Emphasis

Center of Town is a simple and fast drill that emphasizes many skills. Players will need to act quickly and they enjoy the high pressure situation. During a Center of Town match, instruct players to…

– (defensive) do not “throw your leg”. In other words, contain the offensive player and don’t reach for the ball unless you’re sure you can touch it, otherwise the offensive player will go around you.
– (offensive) try any one-on-one skills in your arsenal to get past the defender.
– (offensive) try to keep your body between the defensive player and the ball.


As players gain an understanding of the game, further variations include:

1. Decreasing the size of the square to increase the pressure on A.
2. Adding another defender (which might mean increasing the square size).
3. Changing the shape of the square into a triangle or other shape.
4. Having the square initially set far from the goal which means A
will need to take a shot from distance to score.

Motivation / Teaching Tips

Tip #1 – Instruct the defensive player to watch the offensive
players stomach instead of the ball. Watching the stomach is a
better indication of where the offensive player intends to go next.

Tip #2 – Encourage defensive players to extend their arms
while containing an offensive player to increase the perceived size of
the barrier the offensive player needs to go around.

Tip #3 – Reward offensive players that consistently beat the defender
and score goals.

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