Soccer drill to coach possession skills

Use this soccer training session to coach your players how to work hard to win back the ball if they lose possession.
Soccer coaching tips for possession drill

  • This drill session will work your players hard, so take plenty of breaks for drinks.
  • Defending players should hold a bib. It’s quicker to change than when wearing it.
  • In the game situation, note that roles are reversed. It is the attackers who are trying to win possession and the defenders who are in possession. This coaches players to understand the pressure attackers must apply in a game.

Soccer drill to get players winning back possession of the ball

Drill set up

You need four 10 yards by 10 yards squares (forming a 20 yards by 20 yards square).

How to run possession drill

Three players play possession against one defender, firstly using one touch then two touch. If a player loses the ball, they must become the new defender.

Develop the drill

  • Three of the four zones have 3v1 situations. One zone has three players passing the ball with a bib placed on the floor. In the 3v1 zones, if a player gives the ball away, they must sprint to the zone with no defender, pick up the bib and defend a 3v1.
  • If they win the ball – or it leaves the grid – they stay in the zone, drop the bib and become a passing player.

Put possession drill skills into a game situation

  • One team keeps possession using the goalkeeper. If a player gives the ball away, they must defend 1v1 against the player in possession for five seconds. All other players must freeze whilst this happens.
  • If the player defends successfully, possession is retained. If the opponent scores, they then become a defender.


For more games, drills and tips, subscribe to Smart Sessions soccer coaching plans – they come in advanced and core versions. You can get these ready-made soccer coaching sessions dropping into your inbox every week by clicking here.

Click here for a small-sided soccer game to develop your players’ possession skills.

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