EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The running man

Running with the ball isn’t just about going in one direction at one speed, players need to turn and accelerate, knock the ball into space and follow it, and pass on the run.

Set up

Mark out an area of 8×10 yards and set up the cones as in the diagram, creating two zones. One zone is 6×5 yards the other is 8×5 yards including a two-yard zone at the end. We’ve used eight players in this session. You need balls, bibs and cones.

One of the teams runs six yards, while the other has an extra two-yard zone where they cannot touch the ball. A player from the team with the two-yard zone starts first and pushes the ball past the two-yard cone with one touch and then races with the ball to the other end and turns back. As he starts turning, a player from the other team races to the end of the six-yard zone dribbling the ball and turns back.

Both teams race back. The team with the two-yard “no touch” zone must pass to the next player from outside the zone. The first to get all four players back home wins.

Technique

This fun game coaches skill with the ball at their feet. You can call the turn they must do, like the inside or outside cut.

Wingers move fast

    1. Start with the first player in the longer zone pushing the ball past the two-yard cone and dribbling to the end
    2. As soon as the first team get to the end the player in the shorter zone goes

    3. The player in the shorter zone only has to get to the six yard cones then turn and go back
    4. When the player in the longer zone gets back to the two-yard no touch zone he must pass to the next player in the line

    5. Teams must race against each other to see who can get all four players back to base first
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