Moving to Create Options

If players don't move without the ball they won't create options for the player with the ball. I've found this training session to be an excellent one to teach players how to make runs for their teammate with the ball.

The three runs that this session focuses on are checking, drifting and slashing (or diagonal) runs. There are obviously other types of runs that can and should be taught. An overlapping run would be one example. But these three runs provide a few very good options for players to start with.


We start with a warm-up activity that also introduces the checking run. The player without the ball checks to the middle of the alleyway, receives a pass and turns in one motion, dribbles to the far end and performs a change of directions move before passing to his teammate who has now made a checking run to the middle of the alleyway.

For the first turn we use an, 'open the gate' movement to receive the ball on the back foot in order to dribble to the far end.


The next step is to teach the players to check on an angle in front of one of the cones before receiving the ball. Here we use the inside of the farthest foot to receive the ball across the body into the middle of the alleyway. As before, the player turns and dribbles to the far end, changes direction and passes to a checking teammate.

This is also the same pattern for turning with outside of the foot and using a Cruyff behind the standing leg.

As in the warm-up, the Player 1 checks to the ball and plays it back one-touch. Then the Player 1 'drifts' wide to create an angle to receive the ball and pass it to the line he came from. Now Player 2 checks for the ball to repeat the pattern.

Coaching Points

  • Time your checking run to receive the ball on the move
  • Solid touches for each pass
  • Drift wide and back to create a good angle
  • Receive the ball on the back foot to open up and pass to the next player

The movements are the same as before but now Player 1 drifts wide, holds for a moment and then makes a slashing (or diagonal) run through the space provided by the drifting run.

Player 3 now follows Player 1 as he checks. Player 3 is directed to follow the pass back to Player 1 opening up the pass to Player 2 as he drifts wide. It's important that Player 1 drifts wide enough to create a good angle for the pass from Player 2. Player 1 passes to Player 4 and the pattern continues with Player 3 checking to Player 4 with Player 2 providing the pressure.

Next, direct the trailing defender to follow the drift wide to open up the slashing run and penetrating through ball. Be sure to have the players measure the weight of the through ball to match the speed and angle of the run.

Finally, the defender can choose whether to pressure the pass or the drifting player. This requires the players to play what the defender gives them.

Two teams of any size play possession with the help of one or two neutral players. The neutrals ensure that the team in possession with be able to maintain possession more easily. Every five passes is one point.

You're looking for the players to recognize patterns in the game that are similar to the exercises that they just completed.

To encourage movement I require the players to make a run after they pass the ball. The other team gets the ball if a player fails to make a run following a pass.

We finished with a six-a-side game to give the players the opportunity to make the runs in a game situation.

[wpsharely id="6889"][/wpsharely]

Please give your suggestions for progressions or adjustments in the comments section below.

Have a great day!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Leave a Reply 1 comment