Overlap Runs Soccer Drills (Looking Up)

Fullbacks and wingers are known for overlapping runs, although it catches the opposition out when other positions do it. Runs force the opposition to retreat and this can be your next weapon of attack.

When a player makes a run, the passer needs to look up and see the run. So this collection of drills is looking at runs and vision and how you can practice them for your next game.

Soccer Player Looking Up For An Overlapping Run
Soccer Player Looking Up For An Overlapping Run ○ Soccer Blade

Overlap Runs Soccer Drills (Looking Up)

Byline Attack: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Byline Attack
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum 4, optimal 8 to 16
  • Skills learned: Timing, holding off defenders, off-the-ball movement, penalty box positioning, and by-line crossing
  • Equipment: 5 cones, 1 ball, and goal posts

Drill Setup

  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone near the center of the field. 
  • Place 1 cone 5 yards in front of the first toward the goal. 
  • Place 1 cone on the edge of the penalty box, 5 yards left of center.
  • Create a 5-yard gate to the right of the penalty box in line with the edge of the area.
  • Set up goalposts (any size)
Byline Attack
Byline Attack

Drill Instructions

  1. The team lines up behind the cone at the center field. 1 attacker and 1 defender stand at the cone 5 yards from center field. 1 player stands near the sideline, parallel to the center field. 
  2. P2 starts the drill at the center field by playing a 5-year pass to P1. 
  3. P1 takes a touch to control the ball, then holds off the defender (D1) before playing a return pass to P2. 
  4. Immediately after the return pass, P1 spins the defender and makes a forward run toward the back post. 
  5. Concurrently, P3 starts their forward run along the sideline. 
  6. After receiving the return ball, P2 plays a through pass behind the gate in front of P3.
  7. P3 must time their run to ensure they don’t move through the gate until the pass from P2 is played. This simulates timing a run to beat the offside line.
  8. P3 dribbles toward the end line.
  9. When P1 reaches the cone at the edge of the penalty box, they quickly change the angle of their run and sprint toward the front post. 
  10. At the by-line, P3 crosses the ball to meet the run of P1.
  11. P1 finishes the cross inside the 6-yard box. 
  12. The main focus of this drill is timing so repeat the sequence multiple times until the players are running it smoothly.

Drill Variations

  • Switch to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Focus initially on low crosses, then headers. 
  • Adjust the angle of the attacker’s run inside the penalty box, focusing on back post runs and cutbacks.

Wide Attack: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Wide Attack
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Number of players: 3 to 16
  • Skills learned: Quick passing, dribbling, turning, and finishing
  • Equipment: 4 cones, 1 ball, and goalposts

Drill Setup

  • Place 1 cone on the end line 5 yards outside the penalty box. 
  • Place 1 cone 12 yards in front of the first. 
  • Place 1 cone parallel to the second cone on the edge of the penalty box. 
  • Place 1 cone in line with the third cone, around 5 yards outside the penalty box. 
  • If you have a goalkeeper, set up full-size goalposts. If you don’t have a goalkeeper, mini goalposts are okay.
Wide Attack
Wide Attack

Drill Instructions

  1. The team lines up behind the cone on the end line. 1 player stands at the second and another at the third cone.
  2. P1 starts the drill by playing a quick one-two pass with P2. 
  3. As soon as P2 plays the return pass, they turn and start to run toward the cone outside the penalty box. 
  4. P1 passes to P3. 
  5. P3 plays a first-time pass (if possible) in front of P1. 
  6. P1 receives the ball on the move, dribbles at it, then around the cone toward the goal. 
  7. P1 then dribbles into the penalty box for a 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper. 
  8. The goalkeeper may rush the attacker, come off their line, or play the scenario however they wish. This is a useful drill for goalkeepers also.
  9. If you have multiple goalkeepers in your team, rotate them each round. 
  10. After the round, P1 rejoins the main line, P3 takes the P1 spot, and P2 takes the P3 spot. 

Drill Variations

  • Create a competition between attackers and between goalkeepers for the most goals and stops. 
  • Switch the drill setup to the opposite side of the training field. 
  • Add a player to the penalty box to passively defend the attacker.

Dribble, Turn, and Shoot: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Dribble, turn, and shoot
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Number of players: 2 to 16
  • Skills learned: Dribbling, ball control, turning, skill moves, and finishing
  • Equipment: 5 cones (or agility poles), mannequin, 1 ball (minimum), and goal posts

Drill Setup

  • Set up the drill as shown in the graphic.
  • Place 1 cone near the center of the field. 
  • Place 1 cone 10 yards parallel to the first, toward the sideline. 
  • Place 2 more cones 10 yards from the first 2 just outside the penalty box. 
  • Place a mannequin on the edge of the penalty box, in the center of the goal. If you don’t have a mannequin, a cone will suffice. 
  • Set up full-size goalposts.
Dribble Turn And Shoot
Dribble Turn And Shoot

Drill Instructions

  1. The team lines up at the center field behind the cone. 1 player (P2) stands at the cone on the right side of the penalty box. 
  2. P1 starts the drill by dribbling at, then around the parallel cone toward the sideline. 
  3. After rounding the cone, P1 passes the ball to P2 and then takes its original position. 
  4. P2 dribbles at, then around the cone near the edge of the penalty box. 
  5. After rounding the cone, P2 dribbles at the mannequin and uses a skill move (e.g. step over) to go around it. 
  6. P2 has a 1 v 1 with the goalkeeper. 

Drill Variations

  • Switch to the opposite side of the field. 
  • Focus on the left and right-footed shooting. 
  • If there is no goalkeeper, use small goals to improve finishing accuracy.

Weave Passing: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Weave Passing 
  • Session Length: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Age Group: all ages
  • Number of players: 4 to 16
  • Skills learned: Passing, moving, anticipation, finishing
  • Equipment: 1 ball, 1 goal, 3 cones

Drill Setup

  • Use approximately half the field for this drill. 
  • Set up a full-size goal if you have a goalkeeper. If not, a small goal or pair of cones will suffice.
  • Place 3 cones approximately 10 yards apart, across the field, just in front of the halfway line.
  • Divide the outfield players into 3 even groups. 
  • Each group lines up at a different cone. 
  • P1 begins with the ball at their feet at the center cone. 
Weave Passing
Weave Passing

Drill Instructions

  1. On the coach’s signal, P2 and P3 set off, running toward the goal. 
  2. P1 plays a through ball to P2, anticipating where they are running to. 
  3. P1 wraps around behind P2, following the pass and continuing to run toward the goal. 
  4. P2 then plays a through ball to P3.
  5. P2 wraps around behind P3. 
  6. If P3 is close to the goal, they take a touch and shoot. 
  7. If P3 is still outside the box or too far out to shoot, they pass to P1 for a shot. 
  8. After completing the round, all outfield players join different lines. The next 3 players start the second round. 
  9. If you have multiple goalkeepers, rotate them occasionally.

Drill Variations

  • Time each round and challenge players to beat their best time every turn.
  • Set goal-scoring targets for the team. 
  • Increase the distance of the drill and cover the entire field. 

Sharks and Minnows: Soccer Drill

  • Age Range: 4-8
  • Length of Session: 10 mins
  • Number of Players: 6+
  • Skills to Learn: dribbling, keeping head up, ball control
  • Equipment: balls for each player, cones, pinnies optional.

Description: Kids try to dribble from one side to the other without getting tagged by the shark. Anyone tagged becomes a shark.

Drill Set-up: 

  • Create a large rectangle suitable for the number and age of players. For example, 35 meters long by 20 meters wide for 12-15 6-year-olds. 
  • Give each player a ball and line them up on the starting line.
  • Select a “shark” to start. 
Sharks And Minnows Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com
Sharks And Minnows Soccer Drill Soccerblade.com

Drill Instructions

  1. Line up all of the “minnows” with their balls.
  2. Choose 1-2 sharks and place them in the middle of the space. 
  3. When you say go, have the minnows try to dribble across the other side without getting tagged by a shark. 
  4. Anyone who is tagged must become a shark for the next round.
  5. Challenge players to see who can be the last minnow standing.
  6. Younger kids, 4-6, can focus on just tagging the player. For kids 6-8, change the rules so they must knock the ball away from the minnow to count. For kids 8-10 or with advanced skills, you can require them to take full possession of the ball. 
  7. Another way to make the drill more challenging is to make the space smaller. 
  8. You can also add specific dribbling challenges within the game (weak foot only, must complete 2 moves before crossing, etc.

Pass, Move, and Shuffle: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: Pass, Move, and Shuffle
  • Age Group: All age groups
  • Session Length: 5 minutes
  • Number of players: minimum of 2 as players work in pairs
  • Skills learned: first touch, passing, and quick feet
  • Equipment: 2 cones, 1 ball per pair

Drill Setup

  • Each pair of players needs 2 cones. 
  • Place 2 cones approximately 5 yards apart to create the passing lane. 
  • Create separate passing lanes parallel to these cones for each pair of players. 
  • Each pair requires 1 ball.
Pass Move And Shuffle
Pass Move And Shuffle

Drill Instructions

  • P1 stands 1 yard to the right and behind the cone, with the ball at their feet.
  • P2 stands in a mirrored position, 1 yard to the left and behind the cone, waiting to receive a pass.
  • P1 plays a firm, right-footed pass along the ground to P2. 
  • P1 then shuffles to the left side of the cone and waits for the return pass.
  • P2 takes one touch to shift the ball from the left to the right side of the cone, before playing return pass to P1.
  • P2 then shuffles back to the left side of the cone. 
  • P1  takes one touch to shift the ball from the left to the right side of the cone, before passing it to P2 
  • In the first and second rounds, allow 3 touches. In the third and fourth rounds, allow only 2.

Drill Variations

  • Switch starting positions to focus on opposite foot passing.
  • Increase the distance between players to improve passing accuracy, control, and range. For this drill, the maximum distance between players should be 15 yards.

4 v 4 Wing Play: Soccer Drill

Drill Outline

  • Drill Name: 4 v 4 Wing Play
  • Session Length: 10 minutes
  • Age Group: 10+
  • Number of players: 8 (minimum)
  • Skills learned: Positioning, passing, movement, awareness
  • Equipment: 12 cones, 1 ball, 2 goals

Drill Setup

  • Create a 20-yard long, 15-yard wide, cone grid as your playing field. 
  • Create a channel, 3 yards wide, on either sideline using cones. 
  • Set up 2 goals, placing 1 on either end of the field. 
  • Divide the team into groups of 4. 
  • 2 groups compete against each other at a time. 
  • Each group designates 1 player to occupy their right-sided channel. No other players are allowed to enter the sideline channels. 
4 V 4 Wing Play
4 V 4 Wing Play

Drill Instructions

  1. The coach elects 1 team to start with the ball. 
  2. On the coach’s signal, the drill goes live. The teams compete in a regular 4 v 4 game, with each team trying to outscore the other. 
  3. The designated channel players can move along the sideline but they cannot leave the channel. 
  4. The other players may not enter the sideline channels. 
  5. The teams are encouraged to use their wingers to set up attacks, creating overloads and crossing opportunities from wide areas. 
  6. The first team to score 3 goals is the winner. 
  7. Mix up teams after each game. 
  8. If you have enough players, create multiple teams and rotate them between games. 

Drill Variations

  • Switch wingers to the opposite side, focusing on attacking from the left sideline.
  • Introduce a rule, forcing teams to pass to their winger at least once before they are allowed to score. 
  • Set a minimum pass rule before teams can score. 
  • Limit individual touches to 2 or 3 per possession. 
  • Set a scoring time limit for attacking teams.

Soccer Blade has more than 100 drills – for more go to our soccer drills page. If you need equipment for your soccer drills, check out our soccer equipment page.

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