Outdoor Training Sessions | Running

Training - Running

Standard warm-up (5–10 min/hr)


This warm-up drill should be used at the beginning of all the sessions, including this  session. This warm-up is designed to:

  • Start the practice with some light activity for the players.
  • Improve the player’s skill handling the ball.
Field setup and video

Place cones to form a rectangular-box shape. The box should be big enough to gives players room to move but not too big that the players cannot see each other or they cannot hear your calls.  For example with 10 players,  create a box approximately 20 by 30 yards. This box will be used for the entire training session.

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Balls: One per player.

Player dribbles ball around within box using all sides of both feet and then does one of the following moves called out by the coach for a few seconds. Then coach calls out to dribble  before calling next move.

  • Toe tapPlayer quickly taps bottom of toes on top of ball alternating between right and left foot. Hide
  • ShufflePlayer passes ball between the feet while lifting legs and jumping slightly. Hide
  • Step overWithout moving the ball the player steps over ball to the right with the right foot and then steps over the ball to the left with the left foot. Hide
  • Circle right or left with inside of footUsing the inside of one foot, the player moves the ball clockwise with left foot or counterclockwise with right foot. Hide
  • Circle right or left with outside of footUsing the outside of one foot, the player moves the ball clockwise with right foot or counterclockwise with left foot. Hide
  • Roll ballStanding behind or beside the ball, the player rolls the ball forward, left or right using the bottom of foot. Hide
  • PullbackPlayer dribbles ball forward a couple of steps and then pulls the ball back with bottom of right foot while turning 180 degrees. Player then dribbles a couple of steps and pulls ball back with bottom of left foot while turning 180 degrees. Hide
  • Shield ballUsing a combination of the circle left or right and the pullback with right foot or left, player moves forward and back in a half circle  to shield the ball from a pretend opponent. Leave it up to the player, but the player should be encouraged to use the weaker foot an equal amount of time as the stronger foot. Hide

Option. To add some fun to the drill, get the players to count the number of times they do each move and have them call out their score to create a bit of competition.

Coaching points

Encourage the players to:

  • Keep the ball close to maintain control.
  • Move as quickly as possible.
  • Keep their head up as much as possible.
  • When applicable, use both feet and use both sides of the foot.

Technique: Running with ball (10–12 min/hr)


The purpose of this drill is to help the players develop the skill of running with the ball.

Field setup and video

You should be able to use the setup from the warm-up as long as you have a cone two-thirds or three-quarters of the way done the side (touch) lines and three goals setup on the end line.

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Balls: One per player.

  1. Divide the players into two teams and have one team put on pinnies.
  2. Have each player get a ball.
  3. Have one team line up in one corner on the end line in single file.
  4. Have the other team line up on the same end in the other corner.
  5. On “Go!”, have the first player in the line run with their ball  to the second from last cone, go around the cone then run back on the other side with the ball and dribble or shoot the ball into the goal.
  6. Player retrieves their ball and goes to end of the line while next players goes.

Option: To create some competition and to get the players to move faster, turn it into a relay. Next player has to wait for shot to pass the goal line before going.

Coaching points
  • Run  at good pace with ball out in front, but not too far out in front.
  • Keep head up and remain in control of the ball.
  • Slow down if control is continually lost.

Skill: 1 vs 1 running and shooting (10–12 min/hr)


This drill further develops the skill of running with the ball and shooting by introducing a defender.

Field setup and video

Same setup as for Technique.

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Balls: All players on one team have a ball.

  1. Similar to Technique, have pinnies line up in single file in the corner on the end line to the right of the centre goal.
  2. Have the other team line up in the corner on the other side of the goal.
  3. On “Go!”, the first player in the line runs with the ball, goes around the second from last cone and then runs in with the ball and takes a shot on the goal.
  4. At the same time, the defender runs up and around the second from last cone and then tries to take the ball away or block the shot.
  5. The player who started with the ball retrieves the ball and goes to the end of their line.
  6. After three rotations, switch and have the non-pinnies move to the line with the balls.
Coaching points
  • Run with ball and keep it out of feet.
  • Keep head up and be aware of where defender is at all times.Keep ball within playing distance.
  • Get shot away before defender applies pressure.

Small-sided game: Switch (20–25 min/hr)


The purposes of the small-sided games are to:

  • Let the players have some fun. Most players prefer to play a game to doing drills.
  • Give the players an opportunity to practice what they have learned.
  • Get the players ready to play a real game against another team.
Field setup and video

Remove any cones from inside the box and convert or make sure the end lines  have three goals.

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Balls: Coach keeps and feeds in balls one in at a time.

  1. Divide the players into two teams and have one team put on the pinnies.
  2. Divide each team into two groups.
  3. For each team, have half the team move into positions inside the playing field and the other half line up along their end line.
  4. On “Go!”, have one team start with the ball and try to get the ball into the other team’s goal.
  5. At appropriate intervals, such as when a goal is scored or the ball goes off the side, tell the players to switch. On “Switch”, the inside players move to the end line and the end line players move into the field. When necessary, to keep the game moving, the coach feeds new ball in to restart game.
  6. On restarts, use “Go!” and defenders can’t move until the first pass is received.
Coaching points
  • Help the players make the right decision on when to dribble, pass, and change direction.
  • This is where the following teaching techniques are used most: Direct command; Question and answer; Guided discovery.
  • Let the players play to get a flow going and give them a feel for a game situation, but look for opportunities to stop the play and teach them what they did wrong or right using one of the teaching techniques.