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soccer passing drills

as with all techniques that  are taught  at the NSCAA Academy  level, a session on soccer passing drills will begin  at  the  fundamental level, proceed to  the  game-related stage  and  finish with a match (5 v. 5 with keepers).

Passing ability must be developed in every practice session to some degree.  The coach must recognize that the two main considerations in achieving a high level of passing skill are the direction soccer passing drills u10 (accuracy) and speed (sometimes referred to as the “weight”) of the pass. Also important is good communication between the passer and the receiver.

Coaching   passing   is somewhat laborious.  It demands repetition and coaches can seek to bring diversity to their practices by using different methodologies to achieve passing skill in the team.  Numerous exercises can  be  applied  in the team setting to upgrade the team’s passing ability including possession games, conditioned games   (limited   touches), grid work, small-sided games and shadow play.

It might be noted that passing practices are really receiving practices with the opposite emphasis.





1.  In twos, checking and passing with the emphasis on the receiver checking   to   the   ball at an angle. Player X2 dribbles   the   ball,   X2 observes X1 and when X2 looks up to play the ball and soccer partner passing drills, X1 checks back at an angle.

• X2 plays ball to close foot (foot closest to passer) and X1, upon reception, plays the ball back to X2

• X2 plays ball to farther foot (foot farthest from passer) and X1, upon reception, controls ball and turns with it

The coaching emphases in this exercise include:

• Weight and accuracy of the pass

• Checking run made when passer’s head is up

• Checking run made at an angle

2.  In threes, while X1 and  X2 inter-pass, X3 looks up and then checks back at an angle to receive the ball, then plays it back to the person not playing them the pass.

Repeat the drill, adding which foot you want ball played to, etc.

3.  in an open area, in threes and fours, each player with a number. Pass to each other in sequential order, No. 1 to No. 2, etc. Each time the player receiving ball must control,soccer drills possession passing dribble and look up to find the next receiver, who must check at angle, etc. The coaching emphases should include:

• Angled passes (if runs are angled, passes are angled)

• Angled checking runs

• Getting ready in terms of selection of pass by looking at the next player before the ball gets to you

4.  in fives, passing against the clock in a 20 x 30 grid. Clocked time each passing sequence. Player passes across corner to next player and follows pass. Continue sequence until everyone resumes their starting   position.   Total   elapsed   time is goal for each group. The coaching emphases should include:

• Pass to teammate’s front foot (play to space)

• Receive ball across body

• Use one-touch restriction if possible

• Check position   of receiver as ball is getting to you

5.  In fives, pass and follow practice drills Open ended in terms of space. The coaching emphases should include:

• Pass at angle

• Receive ball across body 3     

• Pass to the front foot (play to space)

• Move    from two-touch   to   one-touch restriction

• Look at the next target before ball arrives

6. Possession game to teach third man passing. 40 x 20 grids divided into two halves. 2 v.  1 in one half and 1 v.  1 in the other. The two in 2 v.  1 must keep possession while using their teammate in 1 v. 1 for third-man combination.

If opponents get ball, they become 3 v. 2 by activating the idle player and the other team drops off a man.   


7.    Same game as No. 6 above but teams go to goal by carrying ball over halfway line or passing over it and going to goal. Always have 2 v. 1 advantage. Play restricted passing (two-touch, etc.).

7A. 2 v. 2 in 20 x 40 grid. Attempt to pass to a target player who can move along end passing drills for high school Team that “scores” maintains possession and goes the other direction. Can add a support player on each sideline to make exercise easier.   

Teaching angled passing

8.  Field 60 x 45 yards (three 15-yard wide zones).  Goals at the end of each zone. Play 2 v. 2 in each zone (6 v. 6 in total). Players must stay in zones; ball cannot be passed into player in same zone

9.  Same as No. 8, but players can go into other zones, but ball cannot be passed to a player in the same zone

10. Same as No. 8 and No. 9, but remove zones, leaving only two goals on end lines of field.

Teaching penetrating passes

Remembering the soccer motto “The best pass you can make is the longest pass you can make and still keep possession”, the following exercises are designed to emphasize the penetrating pass.

11. 4 v. 2 in a 20 x 20 area. Keep possession until you can split the two defenders with a through ball. Emphasis on one- touch and two-touch passing to create the through ball. Also work on various forms of deception (i.e., faking to receive ball and letting it run to opposite foot, etc.) prior to passing the ball

12. 2 v. 2 in 30 x 20 rectangles.  The emphasis is on playing the ball forward immediately.

• The players can only score by first playing the ball to one of two targets at the side of their goal

• They can receive a vertical 1-2 off the target or the target can play to a third man for a shot on goal youth soccer passing drills.

• Targets are limited to one-touch passing

13. 5 v. 3 to line. Ten players in 50 x 30 grids. Five attackers attempt to maintain possession v. three defenders and try to play through ball for a teammate to control and dribble under control over the goal line

• Teams exchange roles following a goal,advanced soccer passing drills with two spare players joining the exercise and two players going off

• Play ball sideways if no forward pass is available


14. 5 v. 5 to two end line goals in 50 x 30 passing games Both teams have both end line (one for each team) and sideline players (one for each sideline) to use for additional support

• Players score with combination play off end targets and must dribble over line for score and make soccer passing drills.

• Players can relieve pressure by  using a sideline support pass

• Emphasis on making a penetrating pass and the role of the third player in support of pass

15. 5 v. 5 with keepers would conclude the activity with no restrictions


Discover More Here:

Performance of soccer passing skills

Soccer Passing and Trapping




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