EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

The elevator pass

A lofted pass enables players to send the ball over longer distances. This can elevate your team’s chances of moving the ball into more attacking positions or clear from danger.

What this session is about

Getting length, height and accuracy on long passes.

What to think about

Players need to:

  • Have an angled approach.
  • Lean back slightly.
  • Strike the ball with the laces.
  • Strike the bottom half of the ball and on the vertical line that bisects it.
  • Lock the ankle and extend the kicking foot.
  • Sweep the leg through and across the ball.
  • Plant the non-kicking foot diagonally behind the ball but not immediately next to it.
  • Keep the head steady.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
10 minutes10-15 minutes15-20 minutes15-20 minutes10 minutes

What you get your players to do

Two pairs of players stand a maximum of 30 yards apart but reduce this distance as necessary because this is how far the ball must be in the air to land at feet.

The players at both ends should stand five yards apart and at an angle of 45 degrees, as in the top picture.

Starting at one end, the player standing farthest from the opposite end plays a one-two with his partner. When he has received the ball again he hits a lofted pass to the player farthest from him before rotating positions with his partner.

At the other end, the receiving pair return the ball with another elevator pass.

Make sure players try hitting lofted passes with their stronger and weaker foot.

To progress, players should try hitting the lofted pass first time and try adding two passive defenders. Place each one 10 yards away from where the passer strikes the ball. Each lofted pass now has to clear both defenders.

One pair plays a one-two then hits an elevated pass to the other pair.

One pair plays a one-two then hits an elevated pass to the other pair.


Development

Set up an area with two end zones. Put three players in each end zone, as in the middle picture.

To begin, one player passes to another in his zone, who passes to the third player. This player makes a lofted pass to the other channel without the ball touching the floor in the middle area.

The receiving trio makes two passes and lofts the ball back.

To progress, play 2v1 in each channel where the defender tries to win the ball. Both attackers in the same channel must touch the ball before trying to pass to the other pair of attackers. Switch roles so that every player has a go at being the defender.

Two players combine to beat a defender in their end zone and strike a lofted pass to the opposite end.

Two players combine to beat a defender in their end zone and strike a lofted pass to the opposite end.


Game situation

Mark out a 30-yard square and play 4v4 with an additional four “target” players – one in each corner – as shown in the bottom picture.

Teams score points when they hit a lofted pass accurately into a manned target zone. No player from either side is allowed to enter these zones.

Play for five minutes and then swap teams. The team with most successful elevated passes to target players wins.

Play 4v4 and points are gained by hitting an elevated pass to a neutral player in the corner.

Play 4v4 and points are gained by hitting an elevated pass to a neutral player in the corner.


What to call out

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