The drill: Reactive 10-metre sprints with ball
What you need: Four cones and a football.
More after the break
How to do it: Place the four cones in a rectangle, a metre apart widthways, 10 metres apart lengthways, and get a training partner. Stand in the rectangle with your legs apart facing your training partner. Your partner then has to knock the ball between your legs, and you turn and try to trap the ball before it leaves the rectangle on the far side. Repeat twice more. To progress this drill, reduce the lengthways distance between the cones first to eight metres, then six metres. The shorter the distance, the faster you’ll have to be to catch the ball. Another variation is to change your standing stance. Switch from square-on to side-on, crouching, standing on one leg: the variety of starting positions will prepare your body for the different scenarios it will have to contend with during a game.
How it helps: It’s all about speed – not how only quickly you can set off but how long it takes to stop once you have the ball. One of the hardest things to defend against is an attacker who can stop and start with the ball in a split second.