Run, step, pop and support

Draw defenders out of position and then use short passing for the support player to run onto. Use this activity to get the timing right and then put into a game situation.

Encourage the ball carrier to fix a defender by running at him and then stepping to the side to draw the defender away, with the support player run onto pass in the space left by the ball carrier.

  1. Players start in groups of four in single file with the front player holding a ball. 
  2. The first player runs to the first cone and steps to one side.
  3. The second player accelerates onto a pop pass running straight over the cone.
  4. The first player then drops to the back of the line while player two runs to the next cone and repeats the step and pop pass to the running player three. 
  5. Continue in this way until everyone has run and popped a pass. 

  1. Move onto a 2v1v1 game to test the support player’s effectiveness . 
  2. The ball carrier runs at the first defender, drawing him to the side and passing to the support player. 
  3. The second defender can’t move until the support player has the ball in his hands.

  1. The support player then has to try and evade or break the tackle of the second defender – or pop pass back to the initial ball carrier who should be in support. 


  • Support players track the ball carrier and stay close to him. 
  • Sympathetic pop passes from the ball carrier to the support player. 
  • Support players hold their run and accelerate onto the pass from a deep position. 
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