Player Reflection Tool

Running with the ball


Complete the form

First, complete the 55 questions below as accurately as you can

Choose a topic area

View your results and choose an area to study

Identify two aims

Use video tasks to identify two specific things to work on

Practice to improve

Let your coach know what you are working on

Running with the ball is an option when you have space ahead of you on the pitch. It is an important skill to use to attack quickly. This webpage has been especially designed to help you improve your ability to run into spaces at speed with the ball under control. We will look at the technique of running with the ball, and use the magic of Gareth Bale to see what this looks like in a game situation. 

Your mission is to complete all the homework tasks below and identify two key specific things that you want to work on and try to improve in your practice sessions, team training or on your own. 


Watch the video on the right to see how to move the ball quickly into open space. Practice this on your own.

How to practice

Scientists have done lots of research on how people develop skills. They have found that the best type of practice for sports is something called Deliberate Practice (or sometimes called Deep Practice). They have found that one hour of Deliberate Practice is more useful and effective than several hours of non-Deliberate Practice. Find out more about Deliberate Practice by watching the videos below.

In the first two videos expert Daniel Coyle talks about the magic and importance of practice, and how quality of time is more important than quantity of time:

Here are the key factors needed for Deliberate Practice:

  • Practice needs to be intense and focused, and you need to make a lot of effort to learn. Practice should push you to the edge of your abilities, outside your comfort zone
  • It helps to set a goal for yourself so you are trying to improve at something in particular (eg. ball control, shooting on target, improving your weaker foot etc)
  • There should be repetition of key techniques or skills. Techniques should be corrected, concentrate on correcting each mistake you make
  • It helps to have an expert coach to give feedback and tuition


The video below is from US Women's College football. The team in white are the North Carolina Tar Heels. Watch them attack and score goals against UNLV. As they attack, watch how sometimes the player with the ball takes small touches and sometimes they are able to take bigger touches. 

  • Find two examples of an attacking player taking big touches of the ball to drive into spaces.
  • Find two examples where the attacking player needs to keep the ball much closer to their feet as they move.
  • How do players know when to take small touches (and keep the ball close) and when they can take bigger touches?


Watch Gareth Bale in the video below and answer the questions below.

  • What techniques from the first video (in Homework Task 1) can you see him use?
  • Make a list of three key things that are important when running into spaces with the ball

Player Reflection Tool - Home

Dear Learner,

Welcome to your HOMEWORK page! Here you will learn about your chosen topic. It is a good idea to save the URL for this page to your favourites so you can easily return to it when you need to.

You need to work through the tasks on the page, one at a time. This might mean watching videos, it might mean doing other tasks and activities. It may be a good idea to take notes also. Remember that the more work and effort you put into the tasks, the more you will learn and the better you will become.

For most topics, there will be a PRINT OUT at the bottom of the page. You need to print this, complete the questions, and take to your coach. You need to do this so the coaches know what you are working on and are able to help you.

If any of the links on this page are broken, or you have other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at:


Mark Carter

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Once you have completed all the homework, click on the 'Print the form' link. This will open a form which you need to print out and complete. Take this completed form to your coach.

Then click here to move onto the last part of the Tool.

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Mark Carter

07772 716 876