Football Passing Drills

Passing the ball is important as any other skill in football. It’s an art form, so simple yet extremely complex.


Making sure the ball reaches it’s target without it being intercepted or a wayward pass is obviously the ultimate aim. But what about the movement of players, on and off the ball? And what about the thought or intent behind the pass?


Players should learn to understand the multitude of scenarios that they find themselves in and be able to have an understanding of what the best pass or best option should be.


It’s also for players to identify when to show for the ball, how to communicate that they’re free or want possession and when a teammate needs help and they can create a new option allowing their teammate to offload the ball.


Passing skills are needed by every member of the team from goalkeeper through to the strikers, which is why we’ve aggregated the best football passing drills from around the web to allow you, as a coach or player, decide which skills, drills and routines are best for you and your squad.


Passing Drill 1

Explanation

  • This drill is a 6 part progressive passing drill that can be done by any ability level.
  • As you can see in the video, there is a huge focus on first time passing alongside a combination of both long, short and cushioned passes. This variety done at high speed improves a player’s touch and thought process.
  • Each of these drills helps the player to identify the same scenario in a game situation and play the simple pass. The movement element aids fitness but also a sense of positioning.

What You Need

  • Ball

(video credit: YouTube user ProgressiveSoccer)


Passing Drill 2

Explanation

  • This is a phenomenally effective passing drill. It helps to focus the players on being positive on the ball and passing forwards, through the lines of defence, as well as finding the weight for a perfect through-ball. A high level of communication is needed too.
  • The ball goes into the receiver in front of the 4 mannequins (posing as the opposition midfield), he sets the ball back to the feeder and spins off, making a run behind the mannequins where it’s the feeder’s job to find him with a pass through the line of midfield mannequins. The feeder then becomes the receiver and so on.
  • The higher pace this drill can be achieved at will be more effective and more realistic to a game scenario.

What You Need

  • Ball
  • 4 Mannequins / Poles

(video credit: YouTube user CCSU Blue Devil Soccer)


Passing Drill 3

Explanation

  • This drill is great for a player’s first touch and for them to be constantly thinking about the game and game situations.
  • There are four cones and four players, with the man in the centre working. He is passed the ball and simply returns it with a one or two touch pass. However his movement is key. The middle cone acts as a defender and he should always aim to move around the defender to create a triangle with his fellow players. This is how it mimics a real life game situation.

What You Need

  • Ball
  • Cones

(video credit: YouTube user FourFourTwo)


Passing Drill 4

Explanation

  • A technical passing drill that aids player movement off the ball, creating space and passing accuracy under pressure. The players are also encouraged to play forwards as often as possible.
  • The grid is split into thirds with a 1v1 at each end and 2v2 situation in the middle. The players play from end to end in a ‘keep possession’ style game with the aim of smartly creating space for a player’s teammates to play into.

What You Need

  • Ball
  • 2 Sets of Small Goalposts
  • Bibs
  • Cones

(video credit: YouTube user The Coaching Manual)


Passing Drill 5

Explanation

  • Essentially a progression of drill 4, this is a small sided possession game with the aim of creating space, stretching the play and getting players into the final third to see combination play before a goal can be scored.
  • The field is split into thirds but these lines can be breached by a midfield player (central third) when they get into the final third in order to exchange a pass and score.
  • The key is sharp passing and creating space through clever movement. The small-sided game scenario also reflects a real game situation which aids the translation of the drill to match day.

What You Need

  • Ball
  • 2 Sets of Small Goalposts
  • Bibs
  • Cones

(video credit: YouTube user The Coaching Manual)

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