Soccer coaching game to help players win back the ball

When young players lose the ball, how often do you have to remind them they should immediately try to win it back? Use this reverse pass soccer coaching game to get players reacting quickly and winning back the ball.

It is the speed of the initial reaction which makes all the difference when players lose the ball and the opposition counter-attacks. If the player that wins the ball get too much of a head start, the chance to win the ball back is lost.

I get my players to react by playing this game. Not only does it get players to react quickly to a change in possession but it also involves a skill and a technique.

The skill is a reverse pass, followed by pressing the player on the ball – and the technique is both with and without pressure.

Soccer coaching game - reverse pass

Set up reverse pass soccer drill

  • Put down two cones 20 yards apart – further/closer depending on the physical fitness of your players.
  • You need players at each end of the exercise.
  • Play starts at one end with a player running with the ball.
  • When he reaches the far end, he passes to the player at that end with a reverse pass – he runs past the first player in the queue and use a backheel pass across the standing leg.
  • The receiving player starts running to the opposite end, the player who has made the reverse pass must turn and give chase.
  • When players get to the far end, the player with the ball reverse passes to a player at that end then turns and gives chase.
  • The original chasing player joins the back of the queue.

Key soccer coaching points

  • When running with the ball, players should use the laces for each touch, making sure they run in a straight line.
  • Players run as fast as they can, complete the skill and turn to give chase.
  • Make sure your players put maximum effort into this soccer drill to maximise the fitness and skills workout.

Change the pass

If your players are having trouble with the reverse pass across the front of the standing leg, get them to try a normal backheel (without crossing the legs). Even this may be hard with some young players, but keep pushing this skill – they will get it with practice.

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Click the link for a soccer drill to improve your attackers’ passing skills.