Warm-up - 3rd player runs

Exercise description: 25x20 - 7 players

1. The coach serves in the ball to the orange team. They will utilize the neutral blue players in the first zone to maintain possession of the ball in order to create space for passes into the neutral blue player C.

2. Possession team must complete three or more passes before playing into player C. If greens win the ball, they team up with the neutral blues. Neutral player B cannot pass directly to neutral player C, but blue A can.

3. Once the ball is played into the final-zone neutral blue player C, an orange player will make the third player run. Blue player C passes back to blue player B who plays the running orange player.

4. Once in the final zone, the runner has one touch to finish in one of the small goals.

If the runner scores, their team begins with the next ball. If no goal is scored, the opposition green team will begin with possession.

Coaching points: Triangulate, body shape, 1-2 touch mentality, scan the area, look forward. Timing of runs, communication, decision making.

Intended outcome:

  • To help the players visualize movement off the ball and support from a player whom they think may not be in the passing sequence.

  • To improve passing, angles of support, the timing of runs, and communication.

  • To get the players ready for the main part of the practice sessions.


Have one of the defending team chase the third player running and prevent them from scoring.

Technical / Tactical:

  • 1-2 touch mentality

  • Visualize - See the game

  • Communication

  • Quality passing

  • First touch

  • Body shape - receive the ball on the back foot

  • Timing of your run and pass


  • Be ready to interact with teammates.

  • Communicate.

  • Applaud good play and work ethic from teammates.

  • Offer help if you understand the exercise

  • Have fun!


  • Be willing to move

  • Always work at game speed

  • Be ready to explode into space for the third player-run

  • Be ready on the balls of your feet

  • Shield the ball


  • Be ready to focus

  • Embrace failure.

  • Remember the combinations of the exercise and who is the best player to make the run.

  • Decision-making can only happen if we are open to finding answers.

  • Anticipate

Possible Performance Problems:

Blue player C plays directly behind blue player B. Player C must move side to side and support the movement of the ball.

The killer pass is not made. Players want to keep possession of the ball and avoid the difficult decision.

The timing of the third player running is not game-like.