EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

Ground control

Receiving a pass isn’t about just controlling the ball – your players also have to know what they’re going to do with it before it arrives.

What this session is about

  1. How to receive a pass.
  2. The importance of the first touch.

What to think about

Make sure players:

  • Use “checking” movements to create space, i.e. they move forwards and backwards so opponents lose track of them.
  • Get in line with the ball.
  • Are half-turned in the direction they want to go after receiving the ball.
  • Let the ball travel across their bodies to the “back foot” – the inside of the foot furthest from passer.
  • “Cushion” the ball to keep it close. • Communicate.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes15 minutes15 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Split your squad into groups of four. Servers (S1, S2 and S3) stand three yards apart in a line facing the passer (P), who is five yards away.

S1 and S2 each start with a ball. S1 passes to P, who controls and with his second touch, passes to S3.

P then receives from S2 and passes to S1, who is “free”.

P then receives from S3, and so the drill continues, with P receiving alternate balls and passing to a free server. After a couple of minutes, P swaps roles with a server. Continue until each player has been the passer.

See how many passes each player in their role as P can make in 30 seconds. If a server plays a bad pass, dock a point from their final score. The player with the most successful passes wins.

Three servers (S1, S2, S3) face a passer (P) and quick passes are made using two balls. Each pass back must go to a “free” server.

Three servers (S1, S2, S3) face a passer (P) and quick passes are made using two balls. Each pass back must go to a “free” server.


Development

Use the centre circle of your regular pitch. You will need with two balls between six players.

Play 1v1 – one attacker (A) against one passive defender (D) – in the middle with four servers (S) positioned around the outside of the circle.

The attacker receives a pass from a server, and pass to a free server, before receiving the second ball. The defender pressures but does not tackle.

Limit the attacker to a maximum three touches. The drill continues with the attacker receiving the balls alternately. Repeat so that every player gets to be the attacker.

An attacker (A) faces a passive defender (D) and tries to pass to an available server outside the circle, then he receives the second ball.

An attacker (A) faces a passive defender (D) and tries to pass to an available server outside the circle, then he receives the second ball.


Game situation

Set up an area as shown in the bottom picture. Use three teams of four players each. Two teams join forces to create an 8v4.

The attacking teams play two-touch and have to complete, for example, seven successful passes (this can be adjusted depending on age and ability) for both teams to gain a point.

When the defending team steals the ball, the attacking teams knocks it out of play, or a player from one of the attacking teams takes more than two touches, the guilty player’s attacking team of four switches roles with the defenders and play continues. The team with most points wins.

Two teams of four join up to try and pass the ball while challenged by a third team of four defenders (D).

Two teams of four join up to try and pass the ball while challenged by a third team of four defenders (D).


What to call out

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