Football 2 v 2 Drills

The following football drills are designed for 2 players to play against another pair. They are ideal for getting all players involved and in contact with the ball yet retaining a competitive small side games approach to coaching.

Football Tennis

Two v two games of headers and volleys tennis in a marked court with cones placed in the middle to make a net. Points are won if the ball hits the floor more than twice and fun competition can be had by setting a points target.

Aim: To improve control, heading, and volleying techniques

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 8 cones, 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: Using the scoring system from tennis, players pass, volley or head the ball to the opponent’s side of the court/area over the net (or coned area). Each team is allowed three touches and 2 bounces before knocking the ball over the net.

Progressions:

  • Allow more or less touches and bounces
  • Increase/decrease the size of the area

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, soft-touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Players encouraged to keep the ball in the air which will allow teammates an easier pass to deal with before knocking over the net.
  • Communication is essential

Ball Collection

A line of balls is placed between two teams of two. Players take it in turn to race to the middle and collect a ball and the team with the most balls collected wins.

Aim: To improve dribbling and skill techniques

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 4 cones, 11 balls (or any odd number) between 4 players.

Organisation: Set up a clearly marked box area, with a row of balls along the centre of the box. Line the players up at opposite ends of the box. The aim is, on the coaches command, to run to the middle line of balls, turn, dribble the ball and stop it on the end line. The team with the most balls wins.

Progressions:

  • Increase/decrease the marked area
  • Add a defender on each side of the balls
  • Use weaker foot only

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on keeping the ball close to feet
  • Encourage players to use tricks and pieces of skill
  • Feints/drop shoulder, nutmegs, knock & run, big toe little toe, etc.
  • Encourage players to run at pace, turn quickly, sharp change of direction and close control.

Pass and Move

A 2v2 mini-game where teams compete for position in a square marked out by cones. This focusses on close-quarters dribbling and ball retention for attackers and positioning and tackling for defenders.

Aim: To improve 1st touch/control, passing and movement, and communication techniques

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards 

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 4 cones, 1 ball between 4 players Organisation:  All players and the ball must be inside the marked area. The aim is for each team to keep possession of the ball and exchange as many passes as possible. 5 minutes of continuous play.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)
  • 3 passes = 1 goal
  • Players encouraged to take a player on 1 on 1 before passing

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Communication is essential
  • 1st touch with inside or outside of foot

Pass-Through Gates

One pair attempts to pass the ball to each other with the ball passing through coned gates for one minute. Their score is counted and another team has a go.

Aim: To improve 1st touch/control, passing and movement techniques

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 4 cones, 3 passing gates, 1 ball between 2 players

Organisation: Players set up as shown in the video and diagram. The aim of the drill is for two players to pass the ball through as many passing gates as possible in a minute. The other 2 players resting can be used as wall players. After 1-minute players swap places.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)
  • 2 touch

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of the next passing gate
  • Communication is essential
  • 1st touch with inside or outside of foot in direction of next passing gate
  • Players encouraged to move the ball with minimum touches

Collect And Deliver

A central player passes three balls to outside players in turn, then receives the balls back from outside players in the same order they passed them in. More outside players can be added to make the drill more complex.

Aim: To improve dribbling, passing, control, and communication.

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 4 cones, 3 balls between 4 players

Organisation: Players set up as shown in diagram. One player starts by running into central area to collect a ball, the player must then dribble the ball and leave it at the feet of any player on the outside of the area, then the player must collect another ball and repeat until all balls are with players in the corners. The player must then run towards each player in turn and command the ball, control, turn and dribble to central area and leave the ball, the player repeats this until all balls are in the middle area.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to run at pace, high tempo
  • Time each set as a target for each player to beat

Coaching Points

  • Players encouraged to use both feet
  • Emphasis is on keeping the ball close to feet
  • Encourage players to turn sharply
  • Accuracy and weight of pass

Keep Up

In pairs, players pass the ball to each other whilst trying to keep the ball off the ground using only headers and volleys. More confident players can stand farther apart from each other.

Aim: To improve control, heading, and volleying techniques,

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 8 cones, 2 balls between 4 players

Organisation: Players set up as in the video and diagram and they must pass, volley or head the ball to their teammate’s side of the court/area over the net (or coned area). The aim is to pass it between them more times than their opponents in 1 minute.

Progressions:

  • Allow more or less touches and bounces
  • No bounces
  • Increase/decrease the size of the area

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, soft-touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Players encouraged to keep the ball in the air which will allow teammate an easier pass to deal with before knocking over the net

Keep Ball Ends

Pairs compete in a square to score by receiving a pass in the end zone, then aiming to score again at the other end. Players of higher fitness levels can extend the playing zone.

Aim: To improve dribbling and skill techniques

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 6 cones, 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: In a square, each team attempts to keep possession of the ball. Whilst keeping possession the teams also aim to move to one end stop the ball on the line then move to the other end line. A team can continue this until they lose possession.

If the ball goes out of the square it is given to the opposition.

Progressions:

  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on keeping the ball close to feet
  • Encourage players to use tricks and pieces of skill
  • Feints/drop shoulder, nutmegs, knock & run, big toe little toe, etc.
  • Move into space
  • Communicate

Pass In The End Zone

Pitch is marked with two ‘end zones’. Players compete with each other to score by receiving a pass in either of the end zones.

Aim: To improve 1st touch/control, passing and movement techniques

Suitable for: U8’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 8 cones and 1 ball between 4 players.

Organisation: In a square mark out 2 end zones with cones. The aim for each team is to score by passing and receiving the ball in either of the end zones and passing the ball back out. If a team scores at one end they must then try to score at the opposite end.

If the ball goes out of the square then it is given to the other team.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to play at a high tempo
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)
  • Overload 3 v 2

Coaching Points

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on pass & move (one two’s)
  • Communication is essential
  • Players encouraged to overlap

Knock The Ball Off

Players compete in a large square with the aim of scoring by knocking off either of the balls placed on saucer cones in the middle. Players can set a larger area to create long-range attempts at hitting the ball.

Aim: To improve passing and movement and shooting techniques in football/soccer.

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 6 cones, 3 balls between 4 players

Organisation: In a square 2 teams play against each attempting to keep possession and when the opportunity arises, try and knock 1 of the balls off the cones in the middle of the square. If they are successful they score a point and the ball is given to the opposition.

If the ball goes out the square it is given to the team that did not knock it out.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Increase the marked area to promote passing and movement

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Communication is essential
  • Players encouraged to overlap to support and take players away
  • Shoot on sight

Knock The Balls Off 2

Players compete in a central area aiming to create space to shoot and knock their opponent’s balls off cones, which are situated outside the central area. More points can be scored if the balls are farther away from the playing area.

Aim: To improve 1st touch/control, passing and movement techniques

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 14 cones and 7 balls between 4 players.

Organisation: Players must stay in a marked out square and attempt to score by knocking the 3 balls off the cones behind the opponent’s goal line. No players can enter the end zones.

When a ball is knocked off the ball is returned to the opposition. If the ball goes out of the square it is given to the team that didn’t knock it out.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Communication is essential
  • 1st touch with inside or outside of foot
  • Players encouraged to overlap to support and take players away

Score Through Cones

Two pairs compete in a marked area with a cone gate in the middle. They score by passing to their teammate through the cone gate. Higher skilled players can set the playing area smaller or have a smaller gate.

Aim: To improve passing and movement techniques

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 6 cones, 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: Set up a square with two cones in the middle as a goal. The aim is to keep possession in your team and try to score by passing the ball through the central cones to your teammate.

If a goal is scored the ball gets given to the opposition. If the ball goes out of the square it is given to the team that didn’t knock it out.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)
  • Increase/decrease the distance between the central cones

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Communication is essential
  • 1st touch with inside or outside of foot
  • Players encouraged to overlap to support and take players away

Stop Ball On-Line

Players compete in a large square with the aim of scoring by stopping the ball on their opponent’s baseline. This drill improves vision and short- and medium-range passing.

Aim: To improve 1st touch/control, passing and movement techniques

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area appropriate size for age, 4 cones, 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: Players work in pairs trying to keep possession and move the down from one side of the square to the opposite, stopping it on their opponent’s goal line. If the ball goes out of the square the ball starts with the team that didn’t knock it out. If a team successfully stops the ball on their opponents line they score a point and the other team start from there.

Progressions:

  • Encourage players to increase tempo of the football drill
  • Increase/decrease the marked area to promote a better 1st touch and quicker feet (smaller area) or pass and move (larger area)

Coaching Points

  • Emphasis is on 1st touch, keep ball out of feet and in the direction of supporting player
  • Communication is essential
  • 1st touch with inside or outside of foot
  • Players encouraged to overlap to support and take players away

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