Long pass to switch play

This gets players to understand the importance of playing a long ball after keeping possession. It comes in handy in a match situation when your team is attacking and switching play from one side to the other or when hitting a long ball to the strikers to start an attack.

Set up

Create an area made up of two 10×10-yard squares with a three-yard gap in between. We’ve used 15 players.

How to play it

Split your players into three teams of five. Two teams start in the outer squares with the third in between the squares. The team in the square needs to complete five passes before switching the ball over to the other square. The aim is to keep possession of the ball and lob it to the other square without possession being lost.

The team in the middle is allowed to send two players into the square to win the ball. The three remaining players try to intercept the long ball. If possession is lost, the team losing the ball moves into the middle to become the defending team.


Passing technique and first touch are important to keep possession while being closed down. The long ball needs to pass either over or through the defenders and find a team-mate in the opposing square.

1. The game starts with one of the outer teams given possession of the ball and they must try to keep it
2. The defending team in the centre may send two players into the square to try to win possession. The three remaining defenders must try to intercept the long ball

3. After five passes have been completed, a long ball may be played over into the opposite square
4. The defending team may then send two other players into the square to win the ball

5. Repeat until the ball is won by the defending team. The team that lost the ball then move into the middle and become the defenders

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