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Circle Passing Routes

Creative passing to beat low block defences is all about players seeing the route for a pass rather like a snooker player plots breaks.

Coaching Objectives

This is all about getting players to see both teammates with side on body position, receiving from one player and passing to another.

Mark out a 20 yard diameter circle and a smaller 10 yard circle inside that. Teams work in threes with one player in the centre small circle and the other two players on the outside of the large circle. 

Drill Setup

  • 20 Mins
  • 9 Players
  • 6 Bibs
  • 20 x 20 y

What the Players Do

We start this session with players locked in to their positions with unopposed passing between the three players with every pass going into the player in the centre or out from the player in the…

Building From The Back

In this drill the coach should be looking to develop the movement of the ball between defenders – here we are working on the centre backs playing into midfield. This helps to develop possession players who can play out from the back.

Coaching Objectives


  • Dribble using the leg furthest away from the defender and try to use the outside of the foot
  • Try to take the defender into areas that are more attacking to take the initiative
  • Use feints and skills to create space and give time on the ball
  • Movement is key to keeping the defender at bay
  • Be ready for quick transition if the ball is lost



  • Always know where the ball is and player they are marking
  • Position the body sideways so reaction speed is faster
  • Be on balls of feet so reaction also quicker
  • Use defensive feints to trouble the attacker and cause mistakes
  • When attacker is close eyes on ball not on player
  • Don't jump in and make it easier for the attacker
  • Be ready for quick transition if the ball is won

Drill Setup

  • 20 Mins
  • 17 Players
  • 5 x Blue 5 x Yellow 5 x Red 2 x Green Bibs
  • 24 x 24 y

What the Players Do

Split the area into three zones as shown, with three teams of 5 players and two transition players. One team (black bibs) is the possession team, one team is the pressing team (red) and one team…

Linking Defenders and Attackers

Linking up through midfield is a much better way of keeping possession than trying to bypass it. This is essential to build up play in a match.

Coaching Objectives

  • Support play with good position
  • Scan before receiving
  • Be diagonal to the ball
  • Pass into player's runs
  • Receive on the back foot
  • Be open to the play when receiving
  • Vertical passes between the lines
  • Position yourself very well when carrying out the support.
  • Move away from the opponent to gain time to carry out the next action.

Drill Setup

  • 20 Mins
  • 16 Players
  • 4 Bibs
  • 40 x 15 y

What the Players Do

Starting game Split the area into two end zones of 15 yards and a central zone of 10 yards. Set up with players in a 4v2 at one end and 5v2 at the other. Start with three waiting midfielders who do…