Soccer coaching drill for penetrating passing

When you first coach your players to pass the ball, you will be focusing on technique and weight of pass. But when players can pass well, you need to show them how to turn the technique into a skill and use accurate passing to penetrate the opposition. The following soccer drill is a good way to illustrate the moves.

In 7-a-side games you will often need your midfielders to pass beyond the defence with a clever pass between players to reach your attackers. It needs timing, awareness and accuracy.

To coach these skills I often use this soccer drill, which gets young players thinking and passing the ball.

Set up the drill

  • You need to set up a pitch around 30 x 20 yards.

  • Create three 10 yard sections across the pitch.
  • Four players are positioned in each grid.
  • The game is about getting the ball through a line of ‘defenders’.
  • The ball cannot go above head-height, so passes must be on the ground. Later you can extend the soccer drill so the teams can use headers and volleys over the middle team.

drill to get players penetrating defence with accurate passing

The two end teams (black and grey in the diagram) must maintain possession of the ball – award a 'goal' each time one of the teams successfully passes through the middle section.

Advance the soccer drill

To make the drill more competitive, tell the team with the ball they must try and pass through the middle after, say, three or five passes, or they must not hang on to the ball longer than 15 seconds.

The white team must intercept or block attempted passes through the grid. If the white team gains possession of the ball, they switch roles with the team that lost possession and become an end team.

Play is continuous in the drill.