Discussion in 'Coach' started by rymannryan, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. rymannryan

    rymannryan New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    N.N., Virginia
    I'm a player and wanted to hear from a coach's perspective on making runs. Should an outside midfielder or winger always make the runs to the corners or should there be much more variety. I play outside midfield and also have played central midfield. When in the middle, it's nice to have players making the runs to the corners because it always gives you an option. But I also play outside midfield and make a lot of those runs. I watch a lot of soccer and see the variety of runs all the players on the field do. Our team is obviously not that tactically advanced so I was wondering if any coaches had any tips to tell me about when to venture into the middle. If so, I really appreciate it.

    - Ryan
  2. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    sounds like you've got a decent understanding of the game - there's nothing wrong with having a favorite run, but i wouldn't recommend always making the same run.

    typically, you'll find that you will develop a "run" at a certain position that becomes your standard run - as an outside midfielder or winger, this might be the run to the corner you describe, or perhaps a diagonal run toward the goalpost - as your teammates learn and understand that this is your "run," you will probably find them getting you the ball more as they will be expecting you to be there - OF COURSE, if you're teammates are expecting the run, the defender marking you may start to expect it as well - so, for this reason alone, it's good to have some variety - it's good to spread the field and work the corners in the way it sounds like you're doing, but if you can cut inside your defender and get the ball on that run, it's even more dangerous (kind of like a wide receiver running a slant pattern if that's helpful) as the defender will now no longer be between you and the goal - faking your corner run, then cutting inside could leave him behind

    another thing that factors into this is how good you're other teammates are at runs and how well you guys communicate with one another - for example, picture this slant run to the inside. if you're defender comes with you, there is now a lot of space on the outside (where you usually make you're run). the center forward could criss-cross with you and make his run out there, or a midfielder or defender behind you could push up and fill that space. perhaps mention to you're center forward that you're thinking of this run, and see if you guys can start to do this just by making eye contact.

    as you (and your teammates) get more experienced you'll find that the assigned positions have less and less significance. a run can and should be anywhere that it can provide support for the ball, stretch the defense, or create space for a second (or even third) run. to do this well, you can't just have one run.

    good luck
  3. blech

    blech Member+

    Jun 24, 2002
    as i read this again, i had this image of that old hockey game that you play where you push the rods backwards and forwards, and then spin them to have the players shoot or pass. especially as you move into more advanced levels of play, you don't want to be one of those players whose movement is that limited, only going up and down the field. :)
  4. rymannryan

    rymannryan New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    N.N., Virginia
    I definately understand what you're saying. I'm one of the younger players on the U-17 team I play on and I understand a lot about runs because i watch so much soccer. But sometimes what your teammates do restricts you. That's good advice and I'll try that at a exhibition we have this Tuesday before the season starts. Thanks.
  5. rymannryan

    rymannryan New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    N.N., Virginia
    Also, if anyone knows anything about "ladder" work and could tell me or give me some tips, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
  6. Richie

    Richie Red Card

    May 6, 1999
    Brooklyn, NY, United
    Ryan said "Should an outside midfielder or winger always make the runs to the corners or should there be much more variety."

    You don't want to be predictable. Where you move and how you move depends on the defense against you, and the position of the ball in any given space and time, and depends on the movement of team mates.

    "Our team is obviously not that tactically advanced so I was wondering if any coaches had any tips to tell me about when to venture into the middle".

    Ok, but this is a long post.

    If your always open up (be wide) there is a good chance you will disappear in games for long periods of time.
    If the ball is on the flank. Should you be wide on the other flank? You will never see the ball because your out of the play. Your just too far away. It is like your team playing short 1 man, and your the man out of the game at that particular time.

    Sometimes the team does not need all that width.

    Proper spacing is more important then width at times. You should move more inside the field, with out standing next to team mates. Lets say your move just outside your near post. On a cross from the other flank you attack Your near post.

    Plus you still have width on your side if the team needs it. The width won't come from you, the width comes from the outside back behind you. He attacks the width because you created space for him to attack by your moving off your flank.

    Once the ball moces to the middle of the field your team can use width. So remember ball inside the field get wide.

    Wing movement to receive a pass ball side.

    A wing should be a short pass option ball side for any team mate who has the ball that is anywhere in the center of the field or closer.

    So the keeper, your wing back, your inside mid or the center mid, even a forward at times should be able to pass the ball to you relatively easy. So it is up to you to put your self in a position to receive a pass from any of those players. So don't play too far up the field when there guys have the ball.

    So don't look to always make runs into the upper corners of the field. That tactic is used mostly in the womens game. Even by womens college coaches unbelievably.


    Lets say your wide and the dribbler is inside the field is moving to you because defensive pressure is moving him to you.

    Should you stay wide? Let's also say your open should you stat wide as a short pass option for him?

    You can stay for a while, but not long definate don't wait there until he is close to you. As he moves to you, he is bring defensive pressure to you right?

    So he is killing the space you have to play the ball in. So two things will probably happen. If your team knows how to reverse their field on attack they will do that. If they do your left standing their with no chance to get a pass becasue you were on the pressure side. So you will disappear from any chance of touching the ball.

    The other thing that can happen is you get the ball in killed space which means in no space to play, and you will most likely lose the ball.

    These two options in your case suck right? So when you see the dribbler come to you. Leave your wide position. Then move behind the dribbler and past the dribbler to the middle of the field. In the space where he came from. Now your open in no pressure.

    By doing this the dribbler is in a position to lay the ball off to you as you pass him that is a "Takeover" a simple two man tactic that 2 8 yrs olds can do. Good thing about takeovers is that they work for anybody including the pros. A good way to get the ball and play away from the pressure.

    He can also get the ball to you after he passes you with a back heal. They look hard to do, but they are easy because your not pressured. Plus i like them because they are fun to do :)

    Also by your movement that creates more space for that dribbler to use if he decides not to give you the ball.


    Why play close to the ball ball side?

    Again be a close pass option. Get more touches that way.

    Why not make a long run if you have no defender on you. If you have no defender back make the run.
    Get the pass if you can cut inside in range shoot or pass

    If there is a defender back you can give and go and beat him that way if he is close to you. Or just take him on if you can beat him. After you beat him by give and go or off the dribbler immediately step inside his lane of pursuit so he can't make a recovery run against you. Another defender supporting the first defender? Immediately, move inside the field then you lost him as well. In range shoot or pass.

    Now what if the defender is well off you further back. Should you dribble or make your run right at him?

    Some say yes, I say no. Why no? Because you have space to play underneath the defender or defnse to play.

    Youth teams and even mens teams don't use this space enough. Use that space in scoring distance move inside and shoot or move insdie to pass.

    Dribbling and the defender is falling back on you and you can't get past him? Use all that space underneath that defender that your dribble has caused and attack inside in that space. In shooting distance shoot or pass.

    Once you get defenders moving back they can not stop an attack undernath them because they are moving in the wrong direction.

    Well I hope that helps you in some way.


    PS: Another side note on dribbling inside the field. It creates flank space for someone else to use further back. Why isn't ball side flank space used more off inside runs? Because the dribbler isn't facing to that side any more. It could be used if the dribbler owns a move that can reverse his field, and every player should own a move that will reverse his field like the Cruyff. Or you can use a "Takeover: with a player comming from a position you are dribbling into and he make that flank pass.
  7. rymannryan

    rymannryan New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    N.N., Virginia
    Thanks for the tips. I'm a little more tactically aware than I think that you think I am but that takeover idea is pretty good and I'll remember that. Thanks.
  8. Richie

    Richie Red Card

    May 6, 1999
    Brooklyn, NY, United
    Ryan, I really had no way of knowing exactly what you know concerning runs. Plus it is not what you know, it is what you do when your playing that counts and what your team mates do.

    A lot of runs especially off ball runs are triggered by what your team mates are doing. By the runs they are making.

    Great attacking runs need help by others.

    EXAMPLE - You are the dribbler. You beat the first defender in the attacking third or in the middle third of the field. Then you make a diagonal inside run. Up top team mates see your run. They clear out space and move to your flank the side where you came from also pulling defenders that are chasing them in the process.

    At the same time the far side wing sees the cleared space created by the up top players movement. That far side wing makes a diagonal run to the middle. Keeper see's the dribbler move inside and keeper moves to cover that near post. Then the dribbler makes a wing to wing pass and the far side wing shoots and scores on his near post. One beautiful goal my friend. The off ball wing can score 8 goals a season by that run alone.

    I just gave you things to try to get you inside more then you probabbly are now.

    Takeovers needs to be worked on with other players in practice.

    Remember your team mates have to know to make those runs. They have to practice attacking space when they see it.

    Good luck,


    PS - Excuse the spelling of that last post. I had just come home from my club, and was a little loaded when I made that post :) Now I am left with an upset stomach and a pain in my head. It looked fine to me when I posted it, but I am sure you got the idea's.
  9. rymannryan

    rymannryan New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    N.N., Virginia
    Those tips help a lot. That was the exact reason I started this thread - to learn more ways to get inside. I play in the middle a little bit too and I actually like that better because of more touches and all but thanks again for the tips. Feel free to add more.

Share This Page