Wingers need to be good at taking players one-on-one, crossing the ball and scoring. There are many football winger training drills that focus on these individual skills. However, depending on the formation used by your team, wingers can become an extra defender. The later scenario requires high levels of stamina and a good balance of defensive and attacking skills. The Swimming Lanes drill is specifically designed to simulate this scenario and involve the whole team.
Although the exercise is designed for 5 players each side, the pitch should be as big as a 7-a-side field. This size provides more running space for the wingers. You could create a bigger pitch for more players by adding more interior zones. However, a big number of players will distract from the main objective of the drill that is training your wingers.
The main objective of this drill is to practice defense and attack using your wings. The basic rules of the game are:
There are some variations to this game that you may want to consider. Often a conflict between teams is that a player stays in front of the small goal all the time, so a variation is to delimit an area around the goal where nobody can step in. Another interesting variation is to allow unlimited touches of the ball to the team that scores. The opposition must score to reestablish limited touches and score again to gain unlimited touches.
Be creative and add your own rules.
While other football winger training drills are designed to improve individual skills (e.g.: crossing and shooting), this exercise develops the team game when using wingers.
There are plenty of fun drills that will help your team to work as a unit. We will add more games to the list below as we post them in our blog.