Rites of passage

If you want to score more goals, use this session to teach your players to build from the back and make penetrating passes through to the midfield

The coach can use this activity to encourage players to penetrate from wide and central positions and the gates provide the attacking team with a target to aim for.

Set up

Cone off the pitch in line with the penalty area as shown. Set up three two-yard gates across the centre of the playing area. We’ve used 16 players. You need balls, cones, bibs and half your normal pitch.

How to play it

Play 5v5 with two attackers and three defenders, plus a keeper at each end. Have four neutrals assisting the team in possession, two of whom are outside the area on the sides. The only way to score a point is by passing to a team-mate through a gate, or by dribbling through a gate. Play is directional and points will not be awarded for passes against the direction of play.


When keepers receives a back pass from a team-mate, they can play wide to the support players, or make penetrating passes through the centre to score points. This session encourages passing through midfield.

Build from the back

    1. Play 5v5 between the goal line and the centre circle
    2. Points are awarded for making a pass to a team-mate through the gates

Killer pass

    3. The white keeper scores by making a pass through the gate to a team-mate. Possession is then turned over to the opposition keeper, who starts an attack from the back
    4. The red neutrals play for the team in possession. Here a neutral scores for the blue team by dribbling through a gate
    5. Goalkeepers should look to make penetrating passes through the gates or switch the ball from one side to another

    6. The goalkeeper communicates from the back, encouraging passes through the cones
    7. A neutral player again scores for the blue team by successfully passing through the gate to a blue player
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