Running with the Ball and Anaerobic Endurance

By Alex Trukan

This practice is based on developing an ability for repeated and regular high intensity efforts. That is achieved in a technical practice combining elements of running with the ball, passing and acceleration off the ball. It can also be used as a part of tactical programme focused on developing counter attack and transition play. Ideal number for this practice is between 8 to 10 as it then automatically manages work to rest periods.

Set Up and Directions

Organise two channels of 15-30 yards. Place two gates between them as shown on the diagram below. Divide the players into two groups and place each group at the beginning of the channel on the opposite sides. First player starts with the ball. Rest of the players are positioned in behind him.


First two players, one from each group, start running with the ball forwards at maximal speed. The run continues up to the gate between two channels.


The ball is then passed through the gate to the next player in the opposite group, who takes a touch and runs forward. After the pass is made, the player has to run through the end cones and join back of the opposite group.


As a variation to increase the speed of action (runs without the ball), the ball can be passed through the first gate. Timing and weight of the pass are crucial.


The player then sprints to the second ball (passed by the player from the opposite channel) and then passes it to the next player in the opposite group.

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Every player should make 4-6 runs in 2 series. The rest between repetitions should be 1 minute (managed automatically if there are 8-12 players), and between series – 4 minutes.


  • Pass through the first gate, sprint to the second ball
  • Increase/decrease the length of the channel (will affect physical outcomes)
  • Add additional cone to run around before joining the opposite group

By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest

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