Running onto a pass

If you want to put your strikers through on goal with a killer pass from midfield, try running this session and see your match day passing improve.

Why use it

This is a great session to encourage players to pass into the space behind the defence, unleashing an attacker to go 1v1 with the keeper. It replicates the throw of an American football quarterback trying to get past the opposition with a good long pass that a receiver can get on the end of.

Set up

Set up a playing area of 40×20 yards and place a 10×10-yard square 10 yards from the playing area. We’ve used eight players for this session. You need balls, bibs and cones.

How to do it

Create two equal teams – here it is 4v4. You can use floating players who only play for the attacking team if your players are finding it hard to create space for the pass. Teams must make three passes before trying the killer pass. To score a point the ball must be passed into the small square and a runner must receive it in the area.


The quality of the pass and timing of runs to receive the pass are vital to the success of this session. It helps young players use space behind the defence to make a good pass that attackers can exploit.

Running onto a forward pass

    1. Play starts as soon as the ball is played into one of the teams
    2. Three passes must be made before teams can attempt a pass into the square

Run onto a pass

    3. Here the players move after making the pass so they are ready to time their runs into the passing zone
    4. Pass must be a good weight to allow the attacker to time his run

Running onto the ball

    5. Add a neutral player who only plays for the team in attack to make it easier to create the pass.
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