Running With The Ball In A 3 v 3 Small-Sided Game

The following drill comes from the Soccer Awareness Training Center. Soccer Awareness Training Center provides unlimited access to Wayne Harrison's Soccer Awareness systems, training sessions, drills and more. Wayne's system helps develop world class youth soccer players and teams in a systematic and imaginative manner that guarantees performance at the highest level of competition. Whether you’re a beginning coach who needs help getting started or someone who wants to add some variety to their training sessions, the Soccer Awareness Training Center offers a wide variety of drills to choose from. Join Today


Here are two small-sided games with an emphasis on running with the ball. Players work on creating space, decision making, technique and more.

To score the player on the ball has to run the ball into the marked area. Here (1) runs the ball in chased by (C) then must look to pass to another player and attack the opposite way. Once the team has scored they then keep possession and can attack the other end zone.

3 v 3 small-sided game

Coaching Points:

  1. Creating Space – Players breaking wide to receive the ball from the keeper.
  2. Decision – Can I run with the ball or do I pass.
  3. Technique – Key factors of running with the ball, head up, good first touch out of your feet, run in a straight line (the shortest route forward) with pace, using your front foot to control the ball.
  4. Quality of Pass / Cross / Shot / Dribble at the end of the run.
  5. Support Positions – support in front, fill in behind.


To score the player on the ball has to run the ball to the goal line or into the marked area to make it easier. Here (2) runs the ball in chased by (B) then must look to pass to another player and attack the opposite way. Once the team has scored they then keep possession and can attack the other end zone.

running with the ball small-sided game

Coaching Points:

  1. Run with the ball whenever possible
  2. First touches to be forward.
  3. Keep the ball moving
  4. If you can’t run with the ball look for a give and go and then run again
  5. Have the positive attitude to run at them to score.

Build an overload into the game if necessary with an extra floating player if it is too difficult to get free with equal numbers making it a 4 v 3 in favor of the attacking team always.

Download a printable pdf of this session and more small-sided games in the Soccer Awareness Training Center