EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

5 ways to coach running with the ball at speed

If you want your team to attack with pace, you need your players to be able to run with the ball at speed. But whereas being able to run quickly is usually something that comes naturally to a player, running quickly while keeping a ball under control is a skill that must be learned and practised.

To help you coach your players to run with the ball at speed, I’ve selected these five great drills and activities…

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Start your session with a good, easy to set up warm-up. Running with the ball warm-up is a good example as it gets all players involved, works on technique and is good for all ages.

For coaching the skill to a specific age group I love Run with the ball and pass at speed (U12-13 activity) from my EasiCoach curriculum. It makes a competition of the skill and ties it into the game with a pass at the end of the run.

One of the activities I use a lot in the off-season is the simple box-to-box game Running with the ball. It works on acceleration, deceleration and beating a player with a dribble.

I also recommend the clever small-sided game Running with the ball in a game, which rewards players for holding onto the ball and running with it. It also helps you to see if the players are learning as you coach them the skill.

If you want to run a full session focusing solely on running with the ball, the practice plan Basic running with the ball covers all the coaching angles.

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