Running Late

Use this fun training game to ensure your players are both quick-thinking and quick into the box for a shooting chance. Players must think quickly so they can be first to the ball and shoot. It’s a great game for concentration, balance and movement.

Set up

Mark two 5×5-yard boxes in front of the penalty area, and two small boxes with five balls in each at the side of the penalty area. We’ve used 11 players. You need cones, bibs, balls and a goal.

How to play

Split players into two even teams with a keeper and a “mathematician” (the coach). Number the cones on the corners of the boxes from one to four. Players must respond to a simple maths sum with the answer corresponding to one of the cones (ie 1-4). So if the coach calls out: “Five minus three!”, the first player from each team must run and touch cone number two. The players then go to the box with the balls in and the first one to score gets a point. If the first player’s shot misses or is saved, he can then try and tackle his opposite number. Players have one ball each.


This is great for getting players to think quicker, for their body shape as they run from a cone to the ball, and for their speed of play under pressure from their opponent who may be quicker than them.

    1. The coach calls out a maths question – it can be a simple one like “2 + 1 =” or more complicated like “5 – 3 + 2 =”
    2. The answer must correspond to the numbers on the cones and players have to run and touch that cone

    3. The race is on for the player to get a ball and score first to secure a point
    4. Players can shoot as soon as they get the ball or dribble closer to the goal but that depends on how much time they have.

    5. If the first player misses he can then try and tackle his opponent
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