By Alex Trukan
This practice is aimed at developing an ability to maintain high quality of physical actions throughout the whole game. This means that for example sprinting or explosive bursts will be more consistent even towards the end of the match. From technical point of view, the practice involves variations of running with the ball, dribbling and passing. This practice can be also used as a warm up if done at moderate intensities. Additional equipment such as hurdles, ladders or poles can be used to include variation and other conditioning elements such as coordination or agility.
Set up and directions
Organize four cones, 30-40 yards apart from each other. Set up four poles, 15-20 yards from each cone into the centre as shown on the diagram below. Further organise some additional equipment (i.e. hurdles, ladders etc.) next to poles (optional). Divide the players into four groups and organise each group on one of the four cones. Timings of the practice work best with three players on each cone but this can be adapted to suit each teams’ needs. First player from each group starts with a ball.
The practice starts on a coach’s signal. First player from a group sprints with the ball into the nearest pole and makes a turn around it to the right. This should be done with highest possible intensity and big touches should be encouraged.
After the turn around the pole, ball should be passed to the first player in the station in front of the player. Passing and receiving quality should be emphasized as this is important for the flow of the practice.
Straight after a pass is made, player can do additional low intensity work on hurdles/ladders before joining the end of the station he has passed the ball to. All the players work in set direction. Having three players on each station will ensure appropriate work/rest ratios.
Each player should do 6-10 repetitions (going around the circle twice) in 2-4 series. Rest period between repetitions should be 10 seconds (managed automatically as other players working) and between series, 4 minutes.
- Dribble the ball into the player on the next station instead of passing it
- Changing direction – clockwise/anticlockwise
- Coordination work on ladders and hurdles
By Alex Trukan, Development Coach, Nottingham Forest - @AlexTrukan