Let’s begin practice with a little fun!

Introduce this quick-thinking, competitive warm-up drill to your team and get training started on the right toe…sorry, foot!

Thank you to the University of Louisville for sharing a video example!

Objective: Be the first team to have three objects aligned in the tic-tac-toe grid.

Set up:

  • Split your group into small teams of 2-4
  • Establish a starting line (use a sideline to make the set up easier)
  • Lay out a tic-tac-toe grid about 10 yards from the starting line
  • Provide two sets of three different-colored objects at each grid (pinnies, cones, balls, whatever you have!)

The Drill:

  • On the whistle, the players at the start of the line take off to drop their objects in the tic-tac-toe grid
  • They then sprint back through the starting line and tag the hands of their teammate
  • Their teammate then sprints to the grid to drop their object
  • This continues until one team has their three objects aligned in the grid
  • If all three objects are in the grid and there is still not a winner, the relay can continue with a tagged teammate running to the grid to move ONE of their objects to a new square

Points of Emphasis:

  • Speed!
  • Competitiveness!
  • Strategy! Have a plan and anticipate your opponent’s choices!


  • If you want to modify this to include stick and ball, exchange the objects for white and orange balls and have players dribble to the grid
  • If you have multiple grids, make one the top grid and allow teams to move up or down based on whether they win or lose