Soccer Passing Drills

The following soccer passing drills are aimed at developing a player’s passing ability and are suitable for players of all ages. It is important to focus on the accuracy of the pass as well as being aware of surrounding players.

Long Pass Brought Down

The player that starts with the ball plays a lofted pass to the furthest player. The receiving player should head, volley, chest & volley or control ball and pass to the player in the coned box, this player then controls, turns and passes the ball back to the starting player. Rotate players after 10 sets.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U11’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 6 cones, 1 ball for 3 players

Organisation: The player that starts with the ball plays a lofted pass to the furthest player. The receiving player should head, volley, chest & volley or control ball and pass to the player in the coned box, this player then controls, turns and passes the ball back to the starting player. Rotate players after 10 sets.

Progressions:

  • Increase tempo
  • Limit touches
  • Increase/decrease distance between players

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • First, touch out of feet to the left or to the right ready for a return pass

Either side of the cones

Players pass the ball to each other either side of two cones in an anti-clockwise direction or clockwise direction. An excellent football drill for using the first touch to change the direction of the ball and create space.

Aim: To improve passing technique.

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards.

Equipment: Coned area, 1 ball between 2 players

Aim: To improve passing technique.

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards.

Equipment: Coned area, 1 ball between 2 players

Organisation: Continuous passing drill, players stand 5m apart behind a cone, the player receives the ball and with 1st touch plays the ball to the other side of the cone and then passes to another player who repeats the practice. Start with a slow tempo.

Progressions:

  • 2 touch to put more emphasis on 1st touch
  • Change direction to work weaker side
  • Change distance between players
  • Increase tempo

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass, head up, observation
  • Weight of pass, depending on the distance between the players
  • Direction of 1st touch, outside of passing foot or with the inside of the non-passing foot

1 In 1 Out

Players are arranged in 4 corners of a square. Two central players receive a pass, turn 180 degrees, pass then follow their pass to the back of the queue.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: Player passes into the target player who receives the ball, turns 180 degrees and passes the ball to the opposite side. The target player then follows his pass and joins the back of the team. After making the first pass that player runs into the middle to be the target player. Continuous practice, when receiving the ball on the outside of the circle players must pass and follow. As the target player collects a pass, turn, pass and follow.

Progressions:

  • 2 touch/1 touch
  • Change distance between players by increasing area
  • Increase tempo

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Communication
  • Vision and awareness of where the pass is coming from and going to
  • Direction of 1st touch

Simple 5m Pass

Players pass the ball between each other over a short distance. Ideal for beginners or easy warm-ups.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 ball between 2 players

Organisation: Continuous passing drill. Players stand 5m apart, player receives the ball and with 1st touch knocks the ball from under their feet and then passes to another player who repeats the practice. Start with a slow tempo.

Progressions:

  • 1 touch with emphasis on accuracy of pass
  • Change distance between players, player must move back and then come to meet the pass
  • Increase tempo

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass, head up before pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Direction of 1st touch with inside or outside of foot

Pass & Shoot

The striker plays the ball into the server who lays the ball off with a soft touch (inside of foot) for the striker to run on to and shoot. After 10 lay off’s change serving player.

Aim: To improve passing / lay off’s

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 1 goal, footballs

Organisation: The striker plays the ball into the server who lays the ball off with a soft touch (inside of foot) for the striker to run on to and shoot. After 10 lay off’s change serving player.

Progressions:

  • Striker to chip the ball to server who lays ball off with a volley or half volley
  • Increase/decrease distances between from goal
  • The serving player can move to different areas to change angle of pass
  • Server can take a touch to control and another to lay off

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Angle of pass
  • Watch the ball come on to the foot to aid timing

Short & Long Pass

Four footballers stand in a rectangle and pass the ball in a zig-zag pattern across the short end then diagonally across for a longer pass.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U8’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 ball between 4 players

Organisation: Continuous passing drill. Long pass 10m-15m apart, short pass 3m-5m apart. Player receives the ball and passes it to supporting player who plays long pass to the opposite player who repeats the practice. Start with a slow tempo.

Progressions:

  • 1 touch
  • Change distance between players
  • Increase tempo
  • Supporting player can change sides anytime to encourage communication, vision, and awareness

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass, best angle for receiving player
  • Weight of pass
  • Direction of 1st touch
  • Type of pass (low, lofted, driven)

Come To Meet The Ball

This soccer drill encourages players to come to meet the ball. A central player receives passes alternately from each side.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 4 cones, 2 balls for 3 players

Organisation: 2 players pass a ball to a working player who always comes to meet the ball. Serving players should make a movement away from the ball and then come in to meet it also. High tempo repetitive practice for 1 minute.

Progressions:

  • Pass can be chipped, lofted or driven, receiving player can take a touch before returning pass
  • Increase/decrease distances between players

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Watch the ball come on to the foot to aid timing
  • First touch with a soft foot, out of feet to the left or to the right ready for return pass

Circle Drill

Players make a circle, one player stands in the middle and calls for the ball from any player, controls and passes back to the same player then calls for the ball from another.

Organisation: Players make a circle, one player stands in the middle and calls for the ball from any player, controls and passes back to the same player then calls for the ball from another player in the circle. Middle player repeats play for 1 minute. Then swap middle player.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 1 ball for each player

Progressions:

  • Middle player passes back without controlling the ball first
  • Encourage players to increase tempo and use both feet

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass, taking in to account distance and angle
  • Communication, awareness, and vision, be alert
  • Decision making, what part of the foot to use, side of boot or laces, etc

Backward & Forwards

One players stays still while the other runs back and forwards between two cones receiving a pass each time he is at the cone nearest the first player.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U7’s and upwards

Equipment: Marked area, 3 cones, 1 ball for 2 players

Organisation: Players pass the ball between each other using limited touches. One player works between the shorter spaced cones coming forward to meet the ball and side-footing it back to the other player. When the working player has passed the ball he must jockey backward to the furthest cone then command the ball, coming to meet it again. Players work for 1 minute then swap.

Progressions:

  • Increase tempo
  • Pass can be chipped, lofted or driven, receiving player can take a touch before returning pass
  • Increase/decrease distances between players

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Watch the ball come on to the foot to aid timing
  • First touch with a soft foot, out of feet to the left or to the right ready for return pass.

Call To Receive

Half the players start with a ball, all players to jog around marked area, players without a ball can call for a pass to take possession. Start with a slow tempo.

Aim: To improve control and 1st touch

Suitable for: Under 7’s and upwards

Equipment: Coned area (size depending on no. of players), 1 ball between 2 players

Progressions:

  • Players in possession can play a one-two to regain possession, change over after 1 minute
  • Increase tempo
  • Make the area bigger or smaller

Coaching Points

  • What part of the foot to use, inside/outside/laces
  • Accuracy of pass into the path of receiving player
  • Communication, only pass to a player who is calling for the ball
  • Weight of pass, not over hit or under hit

In Number Order

Players are given a number and pass the ball to each other in number order.

Aim: To improve passing technique

Suitable for: U9’s and upwards

Equipment: 1 ball between 6 players

Organisation: Continuous passing drill. Number players 1 to 6. Players constantly on the move in different directions in marked area. Players pass in the ball number sequence. 1 to 6, progress to 6 to 1. Start with a slow tempo.

Progressions:

  • 2 touch/1 touch
  • Change distance between players by increasing area
  • Increase tempo

Coaching Points

  • Accuracy of pass
  • Weight of pass
  • Communication
  • Vision and awareness of where the pass is coming from and going to
  • Direction of 1st touch

Avoiding Obstacles

Players pass the ball backwards and forwars to each other aiming to get the ball between the gaps made by four cones.

Aim: To improve control and 1st touch

Suitable for: Under 9’s and upwards Equipment:

Marked area: 4 cones, 1 ball.

No of players: 2 upwards (more players can form lines at each end taking turns)

How: Players pass the ball between each other over approximately 20m using limited touches. Driven pass through the middle cones and firm side footed pass with curl through the outer cones.

Progression:

  • This drill can be made more difficult by gradually Increasing tempo or speed.
  • Limit players to only two touches.
  • Passes must leave the ground
  • Receiving player can move left or right to encourage passing player to keep his head up.

Coaching Points

  • Concentrate on weight of pass – not too soft or too firm.
  • Focus on accuracy.
  • Aim to get the first touch out of feet to the left or to the right ready for return pass.

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