INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Passing by numbers

Coaching players to perform with their “heads up” so they can survey what is happening around them is an important part of football. This not only makes them more aware of player positions, but also improves possession. “Passing by numbers” encourages your players to see the big picture when passing.

What this session is about

  1. Improving your passing accuracy.
  2. Making you more aware and enhancing communication.
  3. Maintaining possession.

What to think about

  • Technique – encourage correct pace, accuracy and early passes.
  • Keeping heads up – know where the pass is coming from and where it’s going.
  • Attacking principles – players should spread out.
  • Receiving – can players control their first touch into space?
  • Players use all parts of either foot.
  • Promote good oral and visual communication.

Set-up

Use one ball between five players in a circular playing area 10 yards in diameter.

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15 minutes10-15 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Assign each player a number from 1 to 5. Players need to constantly move in any direction and pass to each other in sequence, beginning with player 1 passing to player 2 and so on.

When player 5 receives the ball, they pass back to player 1. Begin slowly. Players can take up to four touches at first.

To progress, limit the number of touches each player can take to three, and then two.

Players are numbered 1 to 5 and constantly have to move and pass in sequence.

Players are numbered 1 to 5 and constantly have to move and pass in sequence.


Development

Increase the size of the playing area by a couple of yards. One of the players becomes a defender, creating a 4v1.

The defender must try to win the ball. The attacking players must still pass in sequence and can begin with three touches each.

To progress, limit each attacker to two touches.

Make sure every player has a turn at being the defender.

Players continue to pass in sequence, but this time have to avoid the defender who looks to win possession.

Players continue to pass in sequence, but this time have to avoid the defender who looks to win possession.


Game situation

Play 4v4 plus two goalkeepers on a 30 yards by 20 yards playing area. Within the game play short bursts of say, one minute, when both teams have to play two-touch football only.

In a 4v4, players are only allowed to take a maximum of two touches in one minute bursts.

In a 4v4, players are only allowed to take a maximum of two touches in one minute bursts.


What to call out

  • “The weight of the pass is crucial.”
  • “Keep the ball moving.”
  • “Call for the ball.”
  • “Have a picture of what’s around you before receiving the ball.”
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