INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

The lofted pass

An accurate, well-weighted, lofted pass will allow your team to exploit space behind the opponent’s midfield or defence. This does not mean simply hoofing the ball upfield.

What this session is about

  1.  Improving passing technique.
  2.  Using a lofted pass to unlock the defence.
  3. Creating chances to score goals.

What to think about

Teams can get into a habit of always building up with short passes, which means they are playing skilful, if sometimes predictable, football.

However, if timed correctly, a quick lofted pass into the space behind an opponent’s defence will give the team a chance to score a goal.

The best time to make this pass is when the team immediately regains possession of the ball.

Players who are excellent at this type of pass include Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Juan Mata and Charlie Adam.

Set-up

Warm upSessionDevelopmentsGame SituationWarm Down
5 minutes15 minutes20 minutes15 minutes5 minutes

What you get your players to do

Mark out an area with cones and use pairs of players, each stood behind a cone, as in the top picture.

Each player has one touch to control the ball and one touch to make a lofted pass to his opponent at the other side.

Each player wins a point every time he successfully makes an accurate lofted pass over the cone and before the line near his opponent.

After two minutes, everyone plays against a new opponent. At the end of the activity the player with most points is the winner.

Players work in pairs to improve their lofted pass technique.

Players work in pairs to improve their lofted pass technique.


Development

Use half of your normal-size pitch and set up some flags/mannequins that act as passive defenders, as in the middle picture.

The first player (1) receives a pass from you or an assistant and makes a lofted pass into space, behind the flags/mannequins, for a forward (F) to run on to and score a goal.

The first player follows his pass and becomes the new forward on the opposite side.

The next lofted pass comes from the player on the opposite side of the pitch (2).

Players receive a pass from you or an assistant and loft a ball into space for a forward to run into and take a shot at goal.

Players receive a pass from you or an assistant and loft a ball into space for a forward to run into and take a shot at goal.


Game situation

Again, use half of your normal-size pitch but add a goal where the centre circle would be, as shown in the bottom picture.

Split the area in half. In one half place three flags/ mannequins as defenders with two forwards in front of them.

The main game takes place in the other half between two teams. One team starts with the ball and attacks the nearest goal.

The defending team has to prevent goals being scored and tries to win the ball.

On regaining possession, the defending team immediately looks to pass into space in the other half of the pitch, behind the defensive flags/ mannequins.

Now either of the forwards (F) can run into the space and try to score a goal.

The game is played for two halves of 10 minutes but rotate forwards regularly.

Offside rules apply for the forwards looking to run behind the flags/mannequins.

Two teams play a game in one half of the pitch and the defending team lofts the ball to its forwards when it wins possession.

Two teams play a game in one half of the pitch and the defending team lofts the ball to its forwards when it wins possession.


What to call out

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