Harry Kane is pretty decent at football. Surely only the most blinkered Arsenal fan would disagree with that. So when the chance arises to learn a little about the training that makes last season’s top scorer so lethal on the pitch, it’s well worth snapping it up.
The England striker partnered with Lucozade Sport to host an exclusive training session with over 140 fans in support of Lucozade Sport’s Made to Move campaign.
As well as getting the chance to impress Kane, who was no doubt taking notes for Mauricio Pochettino in case Tottenham Hotspur end up short of transfer targets this summer, participants learned these six basic drills, taken straight from the Premier League playbook, to improve their game.
These are designed to be done in order with a group of at least six over a 60-minute session. As always, warm up beforehand to reduce your injury risk – light jogging, squats, lunges and dynamic stretches are the order of the day – then grab a ball.
Drill One: Ball Control
Great ball control is crucial to success on the pitch so there’s no better place to start your session than with some dribbling. Dribble the ball between two cones by toe-tapping the top of the ball with each foot in turn, then perform a Cruyff turn (or variation thereof – get as fancy as you like) at the far cone and finally pass it back to a team-mate.
Drill Two: Speed And Agility
No ball this time, but it’s just as important to get your feet moving even when you're not kicking anything. Sprint through a speed ladder with high knees and fast toes, then finish with a 10m sprint when you reach the end of the ladder. Once you’ve done that a few times, add in three small hurdles and, instead of running the final 10m, spring over them in a row with your feet together.
Drill Three: Dribble And Shoot
You’ve warmed up your feet and you’re feeling agile, so it’s time to fire off some shots. Set up six cones so you can zigzag across to dribble through them. Once you get to the end, shoot. But don’t just blast the ball – place two cones in the goal, one about a metre inside each post, and try to slot your shot into the gap either side. Make sure you work on both feet by alternating between left and right.
Drill Four: Attack Vs Defence
It’s time to get competitive. Divide up into groups of six – three attackers, two defenders, one keeper. The keeper rolls the ball out to one of the attackers and the game begins, with the attackers aiming to score.
It’s vital for the defenders to work together with communication from their goalkeeper because they’re outnumbered. Make sure to keep your shape – with three attackers it will be easy for them to get in behind you and create a one-on-one.
For the attackers, quick passes are crucial. They have the upper hand and will need to make the most of it, working around the defenders to get a shot away. Rotate every two attempts so you spend an equal time defending and attacking.
Drill Five: Keep Ball
Keep ball is a game played at every level of football. At the very top, it’s usually done in a really tight area so make sure you judge your pitch size well. Split into two small groups and pass to your team-mates, aiming to avoid losing the ball to your opponents for as long as possible. Five completed passes counts as one point (you can drop this to three if it’s 0-0 after five minutes of fruitless play).
Keep the amount of touches down and the ball moving – as well as ball control, this will really help movement and vision. Creating space and being able to see a pass on a tight pitch is key for match situations.
Drill Six: Shooting
Any fun session always finishes with shooting drills and layoffs are a great way to do this. Nominate a team-mate to stand on the edge of the box facing away from goal. Feed a pass this player and keep running towards them. Once they lay it off left or right, take your shot at goal.
Keep the momentum going to get the whole group rotating through quickly. This drill is not only fun, but also great for shot accuracy and finishing. It will also put your keeper through their paces.
The session was set up by Lucozade Sport Made To Move, a campaign that aims to get one million people moving more by 2020. Find out more at www.lucozadesport.com/madetomove
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.