We’re keeping it interesting but practical with this hybrid sport commonly called Soccer Tennis. It can be played in many different ways–as singles, doubles, in threes or fours, or larger groups–especially if a real soccer ball is used.
Many different objects can serve as a net. If no objects are available then two grids can be laid out separated by a dead zone. The number of bounces and touches can be adjusted. The serve can be changed from a service from hand to kicking it off of the ground. The game is a great replacement to juggling.
Limitations according to age and ability can really make it interesting. One favorite rule is when we place a garbage can at the back of either side of the court/field. Any team that gets the ball over the net and also in that can automatically wins the match!!!!! Even if they were losing desperately! You can imagine the drama.
Many techniques such as receiving the ball in the air, heading, juggling, volleys etc., all get practiced during the natural course of any Soccer Tennis game. Players gain insight as they strategize and contemplate questions: Can the team in possession move their opponents into a poor position? Do they strike at the right time and play safely when needed? Can the defenders read their opponents intentions and counter them?
What’s best is how the game encourages both communication and cohesion in a fun climate: Do the players work well as a team? Do they compliment one another or do they play as individuals? Can the players relate to the ball, its flight, bounces and speed?
In other words, the soccer problems are similar to those in a match. The pressure of time is real. Both teams have goals and must think of attacking and defending. While it is not soccer, it is soccer like.
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