BALLING RACK RUNS

This simple yet challenging drill combines ballwork with fitness and footwork, and targets your players’ ability to make repeated hard drives and efforts at different distances, and continue to work under fatigue.

Players
2+

Equipment
1 ball per pair
4 cones per pair

Coaching points
– Initially the drill is simply a hard drive from the baseline to each of the cones in sequence (1, 2, 3, 4), receiving a strong shoulder pass from the thrower at each cone. Ensure the thrower times their pass so the worker lands on/around the cone.
– Choose your number of repetitions based on your players’ age and fitness level, and then rotate throwers/workers after each set is complete. Encourage your players to keep up the pace on their drives back to the baseline. They may not be as fast as their drives forward to receive the pass, but they should still be around 80% intensity, i.e. not a recovery jog.
ADVANCE the drill by making the players work their way back down through the cones after completing the initial four drives. So they’ll drive to 1, 2, 3 and 4, then 3, 2 and 1, returning to the baseline each time.
– Players will really begin to fatigue after four or five drives, so encourage them to continue to be as explosive as they can when they push off the baseline.
ADVANCE the drill further by shortening up how far the players must drive back each time. In this scenario, the players will drive back one cone before driving forward TWO cones for the next ball, rather than returning to the baseline each time.
ADVANCE the exercise again by putting control in the thrower’s hands! Now the thrower must call out the coloured cone they want the worker to drive to each time. The call should be early, so the worker can hit the baseline and GO. You may choose to set a certain number of drives for the players to complete before switching over, or you may set a time of 30 seconds to one minute for the players to work continuously.
ADVANCE the drill one last time by asking the thrower to call out TWO cone colours. The first cone called out must always be closer to the thrower than the second cone, for reasons that will quickly become clear! The worker must drive to the first colour called to receive a pass, turn and drive back to the second colour, then drive back to the first colour to receive a second pass. They may then return to the baseline and wait for two new cone colours to be called out. Make sure the throwers call out the cones early, so the workers are moving continuously and don’t have to wait on the baseline.