Soccer Passing Drills

The way soccer players make passes in a match dictates a lot about the outcome of the game. Uncoordinated passes lead to messy movement of the ball and can create unworthy goal chances for the team’s opponents. However, the ability of players to make sharp and accurate passes gives them high chances of scoring. 

Besides, this makes the games more interesting for soccer fans to watch. Below are 9 soccer passing drills that can improve the quality of passes in great measures.

Soccer Passing Drill: Head Return

 The main purpose of this drill is to enhance the players with accurate heading skills and ball control during throw-ins. During the drill, the receiver has to return the ball using his or her forehead in a precise manner. The instructions are as shown below: 

  • Several throwers line up behind each other on the sideline as the receivers stand behind each other in the field. Let’s name the thrower as player A and the receiver as player B.
  • The thrower, while standing on the sideline, throws the ball towards the receiver.
  • As soon as he throws the ball, player A steps into the field as player B passes the ball to him using the forehead. Then player B goes back to the end of the line of receivers.
  • The coach may em​​​​phasize on the need for throwers to make accurate throw-ins towards the receivers.
  • Player A tries to control the ball as fast as he can before passing it to the next thrower in waiting.

As The Drill Progresses, The Following Variations Can Be Made:

  • The thrown-in distances can be made smaller.
  • Receivers may be put to pressure by adding opposing defenders.

Soccer Passing Drill:Shark In The Middle

 Shark in the middle is one of the major soccer passing drills aimed at improving the concentration of the players when faced with a tough situation from the opposition. The drill is carried out as follows: 

  • The players stand in a circle. One of the players, the “shark” stands in the middle of the circle.
  • The ball is given to a random player in the circle.
  • Once the first whistle is blown, the player in possession of the ball passes it to the next player.
  • The players continue passing the ball to each other for a few minutes as a warm-up.
  • The game begins on the second blow of the whistle. The aim is to keep the ball away from the shark whose core purpose is to intercept the ball. The players pass the ball to each other until it’s intercepted by the shark.
  • The game begins on the second blow of the whistle. The aim is to keep the ball away from the shark whose core purpose is to intercept the ball. The players pass the ball to each other until it’s intercepted by the shark.
  • The game may continue as far as the coach wishes.

The Main Emphases Are:

  • Instructing the players to be ready and aware of sudden situations.
  • Encourage the players to have a prior outline of what to do if the ball were to be passed to them suddenly.

Several variations can be made to the drill. They include; enlarging the circle, adding a second shark, and using the right or left feet only.

Soccer Passing Drill: Off Limits

Off limits is comprised in the group of soccer passing drills that require high accuracy in passing the soccer ball. 

The purpose is to enhance speed and accuracy when players are making long passes. It involves the use of two players, ten cones and one ball. The steps below show how the drill is done.

  • The football field is divided into three sections from one end line to the other. In addition, the field is divided into four zones from one touchline to the other. The second section (middle section) from the sidelines is the off-limits section of the game. The players pass the ball while standing on the opposite sections in the same zone.
  • Starting with zone 1, the players should pass the ball successfully to each other while ensuring that it doesn’t touch the ground in the middle section.
  • The players must pass and receive the ball for a certain number of times. The receiving player has to control the ball. Then, he passes it over to the other player.
  • The players perform the kicking and receiving before going to the next zone where they repeat the procedure. They have to complete the same procedure in the four zones.

 The sections can be made smaller to reduce the pass distance. The coach can instruct the players to use the legs or chest only when trapping the ball. The coach can also stress on the need to make accurate passes and trapping the ball in a calm manner to prevent it from bouncing away. 

Soccer Passing Drill: One Touch Pairs Passing

This drill aims at improving the accuracy of the players when making one-touch passes. It’s one of the common soccer passing drills employed to sharpen the one-touch pass. It involves two players passing the ball to each other at varying distances from each other. The players have to remain focused since they have to control the force they impact on the ball.

  • The players divide into pairs.
  • The two players stand ten to twenty yards apart.
  • The partners start to make one-touch passes to each other.
  • The players progressively move towards each other as they make the passes.
  • When they move closer to each other, the players start to gradually move away.
  • from each other; one steps away whenever a pass is completed.
  • The process is repeated once the players get back to their starting positions.

The coach can make variations accordingly. He can advise the players to use their weak feet only. In addition, the players can use two touch pass instead of one-touch pass. 

The Main Coaching Points Of One-touch Pass Drill Are:

  • Instructing the players to use the inside part of their foot when hitting the ball.
  • Instructing the players to always kick the ball’s center. This ensures that the ball remains on the ground.
  •  Reminding the players to use the correct amount of force when hitting the ball. 

Soccer Passing Drill: Zig & Zag

Zig & Zag is one of the basic soccer passing drills. It equips beginner players with the right mindset when passing the ball to each other. In addition, it enhances the trapping and shooting skills of the players. The drill is performed as follows:

  • Six players form a zigzag pattern in the field. On the first half of the field, are the goalkeeper and two players, A and B, the fullbacks. Player C, the halfback is positioned at the center line. Players D and E, the wing and the forward respectively, are positioned on the second half of the field.
  • The goalkeeper passes the ball to player A once the coach blows the whistle.
  • Player A passes the ball to B who then passes to C.
  • Player C kicks the ball to player D who is at the opposite half of the field.
  • Player D passes the ball over to player E who shots it to the goal.

 The Coach Can Further Instruct The Players To:

  • Trap the ball while moving quickly.
  • Make accurate and sharp passes to their teammates while ensuring the ball is on the ground.

As the drill progresses, defenders may be added to add pressure to the players. In addition, the drill can be done in two directions simultaneously. This requires the use of two balls and participation of more players.

Soccer Passing Drill: Guard the Castle Drill

Referring this drill as one of the greatest and most involving soccer passing drills can’t be far from the truth. In addition, it’s more fun. A ball is placed on a cone at the center of a prescribed area. This is known as the “castle”. Then a player is instructed to defend the castle to prevent other players from hitting it with a ball. The drill sharpens passing, accuracy and movements of the players. Below is the procedure of carrying out the drill;

  • Group the players in fours. The one who guards the castle is known as the defender while the rests are the offensive players.
  • Make a square patch for each group to play on. Place a cone at the middle of the square patch and place like a ball on top of the cone.
  • The offensive players start by passing the ball among themselves while finding a chance of knocking the castle.
  • The defender moves around the patch to protect the castle from being hit.
  • If the castle gets hit, the defender resets it and the game begins all over.
  • The players change positions so that there is an interchange of offensive players and defenders.

Variations Of The Drill Include:

  • Making a small square around the castle to prevent the players from stepping close to the castle.
  • Increasing the number of defenders.

The Main Emphasis Points Are:

  •  Encouraging the players to control their pass force.
  • Encouraging the players to use the inside of their foot when passing the ball.
  • Encouraging the players to pass the ball accurately on the ground.

Soccer Passing Drill: Switching Play

The drill involves setting up a square on which three players are placed on each side. The offensive players have to pass the ball through the center of the grid where defenders try to intercept the ball. It requires the player to make quick movements while at the same time improving their accuracy when passing the ball. Instructions are;

  • Make two parallel lines of cones. The lines should be about 7 yards apart.
  • Outside each line of cones, three players are distributed evenly. Two defenders are placed at the center of the lines.
  • Once the coach blows the whistle, the offensive players start passing the ball to each other while trying to pass it through the middle section.
  • The defenders try to intercept the passes made by the offensive players.
  • Whenever the defenders intercept the ball, the game begins afresh.
  • A point is awarded whenever the offensive players manage to pass the ball through the middle region.
  • After a stipulated time, the players switch positions and the game begins all over again.

Variations Include:

  • Using a different set of players. Instead of 6 vs 2 set, the coach can opt for an 8 vs 3 set.
  • Use of one-touch passes.

The Major Points Which The Coach Can Emphasize On Are:

  • Instructing the players to make quick and low passes on the ground.
  • Changing the size of the playing area. A smaller area makes it hard for the offensive players to pass the ball through the center region.

 Soccer Passing Drill: 1 in 1 Out

Among the several soccer passing drills, 1 in 1 out greatly improves on turning when making passes. The players are arranged in four lines of the same length. This forms a perfect square. One player is placed in the middle of the square. Players have to pass the ball to the middle player who turns 180 degrees and passes it to another player. Below is the set of instructions for the drill.

  • One player passes a soccer ball to the player at the center of the circle.
  • The player at the center receives the pass and turns 180 degrees. He then passes the ball to the 
  • player on the opposite line after which he follows the ball and goes at the back of the line.
  • The player who made the first pass goes to the middle of the square in order to receive the
  • second pass. He turns and passes the ball to the other player and goes to the back of the line.
  • The process proceeds until the stipulated time is over.

The Drill May Vary As Follows:

  • Use of one-touch passes.
  • Use of weaker foot to make passes. 

The Main Training Points Of The Drill Are:

  • Changing the distances of the lines while considering the experience and age of the players.
  • Emphasizing that the players should accurately pass the ball on the ground.
  • Instructing the players to use the inside of their foot to hit the ball.

Soccer Passing Drill: Numbers Passing

It involves making groups of 5 to 10 players and assigning each group a playing square. Each player is assigned a certain number. The players have to ensure that they pass the ball in respective numbers. The drill helps to enhance awareness, communication among players and pass accuracy. The process of undertaking the drill as shown below;

  • From the team, make groups of five to ten players.
  • Assign to each player a number. The last player is assigned the number of players in the group. 
  • Let’s say the group consists of 10 players. The last player will be assigned number ten.
  • Make a square that measures about 8 yards.
  • Distribute the players in the square. The ball is given to player number 1.
  • Upon signaling to start, player 1 passes the ball to player 2 who already has started moving in the play area.
  • Player 2 then passes the ball to players 3 who passes it to player 4.
  • The process continues until the ball reaches the last player in the sequence. If the stipulated time is not over, the last player returns the ball to player number 1. The process starts all over again. 

Variations Include:

  • Use of two balls to involve the players much more.
  • Use of one-touch passes.

The Key Emphases Are:

  • Teaching the players to communicate with each other. 
  • To instruct the players on how to call out for the ball.
  • Instructing the players to slowly increase the tempo.
  • Encouraging the players to keep their eyes on the ball and concentrate on the game.

Final Thoughts

Accurate, timely and sharp passes not only make the game more captivating, but also increases the chances of a team to win the game. Such passes also increase the team’s possession of the ball.

 The soccer passing drills outlined above include the off limit, protect the castle, and numbering passes drill among others. They are great ways to sharpen focus, concentration, judgment, and vision of players when making passes. 

Furthermore, they will help the players bring the ball under their control in a precise manner. Generally, the above soccer passing drills certainly improve the quality of passing.

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Last updated on 12/09/2019 10:38 pm

Lazy Legs

"I learned all about life with a ball at my feet." Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train, I play, and I repeat every single day. I hope you like my site. Feel free to say hey. I don't bite. :)

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