INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Running with the ball

This session is designed to improve your players’ technique when running with the ball in wide areas.

What this session is about

  1.  Running with the ball.
  2.  Beating defenders at pace.
  3.  Providing crosses into the box.

What to think about

The difference between dribbling (small touches and changes of direction) and running with the ball (bigger touches, longer distances, top speed) is often lost on young players.

When dribbling, you are looking to slalom past opponents whereas running with the ball is done when you have space in front of you to move at top speed. Arjen Robben is a fine example of running with the ball.

Set-up

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

What you get your players to do

Mark out a 40-yard square with cones. Split the square into 10, 20 and 10-yard zones. Have a 10- yard running and crossing channel to the side.

Three crossers (C) wait at one end of the channel. They are fed by two servers (S) (see illustration, right).

C1 takes a pass from S1, runs hard with the ball past S2 then crosses into the 10-yard zone. The waiting attackers (A) look to score while defenders (D) look to clear.

Once the play is over, C1 takes a pass from S2, runs hard down the channel and crosses into the 10-yard zone with his other foot after going past S1. The previous attackers now have four new defenders to play against.

Once the play is over, C2 takes a pass from S1 and repeats the process. The attackers now become defenders, and defenders D5-D8 become attackers and accompany C2 on his run. The first set of defenders become attackers when it is C3’s turn to run and cross.

Rotate crossers and servers.

Server (S1) feeds crosser (C1) who runs hard down the channel and crosses for the attack to try and score.

Server (S1) feeds crosser (C1) who runs hard down the channel and crosses for the attack to try and score.


Development

Use the same playing area with the same crossers and servers.

Place three defenders and three attackers on each line of the end zone.

S1 passes to C1 to run forward to cross One defender can now choose to leave the pitch and pressure the wide player. The wide player now has two options

  1. Beat the defender and cross for a 3v2.
  2. Do a one/two with one of the forwards to take the defender out of the game and then cross for a 3v2.
S1 feeds C1 and defender (D) can now challenge. C1 can take him on or do a one-two with an attacker before crossing.

S1 feeds C1 and defender (D) can now challenge. C1 can take him on or do a one-two with an attacker before crossing.


Game situation

Play 5v5 on the same area but now with five-yard crossing channels on both sides. Each team has two wide players who start in their own half. Teams pass to the wide player who can either attempt to beat his wide opponent and cross or do a one-two with a team mate, run into the other half and cross. This game develops techniques learned previously.

Play 5v5. An attacker passes to C who either takes on his opposite crosser or does a onetwo with a team-mate before crossing.

Play 5v5. An attacker passes to C who either takes on his opposite crosser or does a onetwo with a team-mate before crossing.


What to call out

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