Soccer coaching session for switching direction in play

Soccer matches are not always end-to-end affairs and teams must be able to move the ball in different directions quickly to build an attack. Defenders must also be able to react to different angles of approach.

This session is all about changing the focus of play by switching direction. It is also pivotal to the movement of midfielders and how they can change direction in tight crowded areas.


Set up a 30-yard square divided into quarters with two goals on each side of the square.

The white teams play against the grey teams on horizontal half-pitches. To score, the ball must be passed along the ground between the poles at either end.

Switch so that teams are playing new opponents 4v4 on the vertical half-pitches. Whenever you shout“switch”, the players must quickly take up positions in relation to the new direction of play.

Develop the game

All of the players are now on the pitch and play 8v8 with the centre lines taken out. Each team is given four gates to score in. You pass balls on to the crowded pitch and the players must try to open out and make a good, grounded pass through one of their gates to score.

This session is from Soccer Coach Smart Sessions, delivered every week to your inbox.

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