EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Overlap run and reverse pass

A well-executed overlap run can open up space in your opponent’s defensive cover, particularly when it also incorporates a well-disguised reverse pass.

What this session is about

  1. 2v1 attacking
  2. Creating and exploiting space in wide areas.
  3. Supporting a teammate with the ball.

What to think about

The overlapping player needs to make a positive run outside of the dribbling player and past the defender. He should run at pace and in an arc.

The dribbling player has to provide accurate, well-weighted passes.

The timing of runs and passes are key to the success of the move.

This combination play is more suited to midfielders making “inside to out” runs, rather than full backs providing width from their defensive position.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15-20 minutes15-20 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Set up two lines of cones, split your squad into two equal groups of players and put each at the first cone, as set out in the top picture.

Player 1 dribbles a ball towards the centre of the first 10-yard square. As he does this, the first player from the other line, runs behind him to the cone diagonally opposite.

The player in possession reverse passes to him as he runs behind, then continues his own diagonal run to the next cone.

The players repeat the move in the next 10-yard square, but their roles are now reversed.

The next pair of players begin their run as soon as the first pair has completed the first section with an overlap and pass. At the end of the cones, players turn and join the back of the other line.

Repeat the drill, but now the opposite line of players begins with the balls so each pass goes in the opposite direction.

Player 1 dribbles the ball to the centre of the square and plays a reverse pass to player 2, who has made an overlapping run.

Player 1 dribbles the ball to the centre of the square and plays a reverse pass to player 2, who has made an overlapping run.


Development

Use one end of a pitch, a goal and a goalkeeper. Place one passive defender in the penalty box “D”.

Split the remaining players into two lines 10 yards outside the “D” and 10 yards apart, as shown in the middle picture. Players pair up as before with one ball between them.

The drill starts with the first player dribbling towards the passive defender while his partner makes an overlapping run behind him.

The player in possession then plays a reverse pass into the path of his partner, who takes the ball towards goal and shoots.

Make sure to switch passive defenders regularly.

Two players create an overlap to go past a passive defender and shoot at goal.

Two players create an overlap to go past a passive defender and shoot at goal.


Game situation

Play a small-sided game in an area which has five-yard end zones at each end, as in the bottom picture.

Condition the game so that a forward pass can only be received by a team mate who is in line with the ball or behind it when it is passed – this will result in teams trying different overlaps variations.

Teams win points for dribbling the ball into the end zone or passing to a team mate in the end zone who has run an overlap.

Tip: Players in possession can use overlapping runs as a decoy too!

In a small-sided game, teams earn points by using an overlap run and passing the ball into the end zone.

In a small-sided game, teams earn points by using an overlap run and passing the ball into the end zone.


What to call out

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