Finishing with a Sprint

By Alex Trukan

This practice is designed to develop players’ short sprinting endurance. This will allow them to produce high quality sprints more often during the game. One of the situations when acceleration over short distances is used is finishing in and around the penalty box. This is why, this practice uses shooting context to make it more realistic and game related. Design of the practice allows a lot of repetitions as well as appropriate work to rest ratios if 6-10 players are used.

Set-Up and Directions

Organise two goals placed with the back to each other. Set up a cone in front of each goal, 25 yards away from it as well as next to the goal, 3 yards wide from the post as shown on the diagram below. Organise goalkeepers in goals, two players on the cones opposite the goal and one player on the cones next to the goal. Prepare a sufficient amount of balls in goals to supply.


The practice starts with goalkeepers who roll the ball to the side players at the same time. It is important to start at the same time and ensure the passing quality from the goalkeeper allows the player to pass off one touch.


As soon as the ball is rolled out, the player positioned on the side should pass it using one touch to the player opposite the goal. If possible, the ball should be then finished off one touch into the goal.


As soon as the shot is made, a player that has made it should sprint (100% effort) to the cone on the opposite side and get ready to play another ball. Competitive element might be added – whichever player gets to the cone first after a shot, gets a point (doubled if he score a goal as well). This should increase player's motivation and intensity.



Every player should make 6-10 shots plus sprints in 2-4 series. The rest period between repetitions should be 10 seconds, and between series, 4 minutes.


  • Receive and finish/finish off one touch
  • Competition – who gets to the cone first?
  • Aerial ball played to finish

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest


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