Time your runs

Use this lively attacking session to coach your strikers to burst into the penalty area with well-timed runs to latch onto killer passes that split defences and leave your striker 1v1 with the goalkeeper.

Why use it

This session was given by England assistant coach Ray Lewington. The idea is to coach attackers to split the defence with well-timed runs into the box and get on the end of crosses.

Set up

Use your penalty area but mark a 1v1 zone on the wing outside the area. We’ve used 12 players. You need bibs, balls, cones, and a goal.

How to do it

Split your players into four attackers and a creative midfielder versus four defenders with a keeper and two servers. The servers need a few balls each. The attacking play must come from the 1v1 box but only one defender and one attacker are allowed in the box.
Play starts with the keeper passing long to the attacking midfielder, who passes wide to either winger. The winger must go into the box and cross for his attackers. The defender must try to stop him. If the ball goes dead (or if the defenders clears) the servers take turns to play another ball across goal for the attackers. After the servers have played a ball across the goal, play goes back to the start with the goalkeeper’s pass.


This is all about striker movement and wingers getting the ball behind the defenders for attackers to burst through and score.

creating goals with runs

    1. The session starts with a pass from the goalkeeper to the creative midfielder
    2. The ball is passed to a wide player, who goes into the 1v1 zone to try to beat the defender

Timing of runs into the box

    3. If he gets past the defender he plays a ball behind the defence for his attackers to move onto
    4. All the attackers make runs in the box to pull the defence apart, leaving one of them with a chance on goal

runs into the box

    5. If the defenders win the ball or a goal is scored or if the ball goes dead, the servers take turns to play another ball across the penalty area for the attackers
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