Put pace onto the ball

Unless your players get into position quickly, they won’t be able to run onto a pass at speed and attack space. This exercise gets them realigning fast so they can master this challenging skill.

Quick realignment is fundamental to breaking down a defence.

  1. Line up two pairs of players in the middle of the box, each facing a cone in front of them and with a cone behind.
  2. Put a feeder for each pair in the centre.

  1. When you say “go”, the players run back to the cone behind, then come forward to take a pass from their feeder.
  2. Allow them to find their own running method when going back – some will instinctively “back-pedal” quicker than others.
  3. The first receiver passes to his team-mate before they reach the middle.
  4. The winner is the first to the end line. Repeat with the players facing the other way.

  1. Develop by adding more players and making the box wider, according to skill levels.
  2. Further develop by adding an attacker, plus defenders in front of the first and second receivers.
  3. Run the drill as before, but this time you call a second time and the defenders run forward and then back on that second call before trying to touch-tackle the attackers.
  4. The shorter the gap between calls, the more pressure on the attackers.


  • Hands up to receive ball.
  • Pass in front of receiver.
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