A very simple and effective drill. I don’t see it being used much. I like it because it keeps the players active and thinking while working on skills.
Divide your players into three even groups, call them A, B & C. If one group has 1 less player or one group has 1 more, no worries, it will get sorted out as they organize themselves.
Using cones, form 2 lines running parallel to designate where players serving the ball will stand. The two lines should be 20 yards apart with the cones in each line 15 yards apart. Group A forms one line Group B forms the other. Ideally the players/cones should form a zig zag if you look at it from above.
x) B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6
Phase 1) a) Players working at the cones have balls at their feet ready to feed the runners. Group C (the runners) starts at x. The first player (C1) runs (or shows) to A1 to receive a pass. C1 traps the ball and passes it back to A1 then shows (a short sprint) to B1, trap & pass back to B1, show to A2, trap & pass, show to B2…repeat process though the gauntlet and return to x. Have group C run the gauntlet two or three times before rotating groups. Phase 1a is a two touch drill, mandatory 2 touch, part of the foundation and building blocks.
Phase 1) b) Same set up, players at the cones have balls, runners run the gauntlet, but this time the runners are playing 1 touch passes back to servers.
Phase 1)c) Same set up, players at the cones have balls, but this time they are serving the runners balls in the air using their hands. Runners will 1)c)1) trap and pass back to the server, 1)c)2) first time pass back to the server. This is a higher level exercise, great for building confidence and skill. Servers have to work hard to get the ball to the runner (there will be allot of missed passes at first so the server will be chasing). The obvious progression is thigh trap & pass, chest trap & pass. Then 1 touch using inside of the foot and moving on to headers.
Phase 2) a) Runners start with the ball. Servers will play passes back to the runner that played them the ball. Runners will pass the ball to the player/cone and receive the ball back, pass to the next cone etc. Coaching points: work on accurate, well paced, well placed passes that are easy to handle. Runners need Play a good pass to feet and follow their pass and keep moving toward the ball to work on receiving and turning the ball while on the run. The turn is key as is moving to the ball until received. Good first touch to set up the second touch as a pass; efficiency! The players at the cone should play a well paced ball to the runner, like a check run pass, while considering the space the runner wants to take.
Phase 2)b) Same set up, runners start with the ball and will work on a creative way to turn the ball as though pressure is on. I often walk right down the middle of the gauntlet coaching while antagonizing and forcing players to pay attention lest I just kick their ball away. Fun for the coach!
Great way to work on check runs, receiving a ball, accurate passing on the run, turning the ball and even a little bit of fitness. Love this drill