A soccer game for skill combining with speed

Skill combined with speed is a great weapon for any players and it means anyone defending against them is going to have a busy time. It’s one thing using a skill to beat a player but if it can be done quickly, it will be difficult to stop.

This chasing game is great fun for your players but it disguises the amount of skill they need to use to make it work. It replicates the changing pace that players use in matches coupled with skill to fool the chasing player.

Make sure there are enough players in the session so each gets a good rest after sprinting. I expect players to give maximum 100% effort.

How to play it

  • Put down two cones 20 yards apart – further/closer depending on the fitness of your players.
  • You need players at each end of the exercise.
  • Play starts at one end with a player running with the ball.
  • When they get to the far end they must pass to the player at that end with a reverse pass – so they must run past the first player in the queue and use a backheel pass across the standing leg – see diagram 2.
  • The receiving player starts running to the opposite end, the player who has made the reverse pass must turn and give chase.
  • When players get to the far end the player with the ball reverse passes to a player at that end then turns and gives chase.
  • The original chasing player joins the back of the queue.

Key coaching points

  • When running with the ball, players should use the laces for each touch, making sure they run in a straight line.
  • Players must run as fast as they can, complete the skill and turn to give chase.
  • Make sure your players put maximum effort into this exercise so they get all the benefits of fitness and skills.

Change the pass

If your players are having trouble with the reverse pass across the front of the standing leg get them to try a nor­mal backheel. Even this may be hard with some young players, but keep pushing this skill – they will get it with practice.

This session originally appeared in Soccer Coach Weekly.

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