EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Running With The Ball

A simple way to practice an important technique in matchplay, which is something every age group and ability level needs to do. Also a handy session to run as a warm-up.

Why use it

This activity helps players with running with the ball and beating a player on the dribble. This involves technical execution and as well as speed. It will help with accelerating and decelerating with the ball as well.

Set up

You need balls, bibs, cones and goals. Set up two 10 x 10 yards boxes 25 yards apart just above of the 18-yard box. You need three players in each box. (Set up more boxes for more players. Have at least 10 yards in between additional boxes.)

How to do it

The three players pass the ball around inside their own box, playing one or two touch. On a visual cue, one player from each grid runs with the ball across to the other grid (It’s a race)! When they arrive with the ball they continue passing one or two touch, waiting for next visual cue… (the coach can vary the visual cue and include a verbal cue, such as “Go”).

Variations: Add a defender to defend the grid. Next add a helper to make it 2v1 (this now involves all three players).

Technique

Running with the ball. Accelerating and decelerating with the ball. Beating a player on the dribble. Combining to beat a player.

Running with ball technique

    1. The session starts with three players passing around the 10 x 10 yard square using one or two touch
    2. You need a coach to give visual or verbal cues to alert the players that they must dribble to the opposite square

Running box to box

    3. On the coach’s call the race begins and the players with the ball must run with it to the opposite square
    4. First one to get to the square wins a point for their team

Running with the ball

    5. Players go back to passing in the square before the coach calls again and the next players race each other – make sure a different player goes each time
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