soccer coaching game to improve passing and receiving skills

Objective: The object of this game - "Behind enemy lines" - is to improve passing/receiving skills.

Age range: U7s and upwards.

Difficulty: Medium.

Set-up: Create a 45x30-yard playing area divided into three 15-yard-wide zones.

Divide your players into three teams of four.

Note: If you have an odd number of players, it's OK to have teams of three.

Place one team in each of the zones.

One ball per game.

How to play: The game begins with you giving the ball to a team in one of the end zones.
  • The players in that end zone pass it among themselves while looking for an opportunity to pass it through the team in the middle third to the team at the opposite end of the playing area.
  • If they succeed in passing the ball through the middle zone, they get a point and the team they passed to tries to pass it back. 
  • If a pass from a team in one of the end zones is intercepted or kicked out of the playing area, it switches places with the team in the middle.
  • The first team to make five passes through the middle zone wins.

Coaching points:

Encourage players to play with their heads up, looking for an opportunity to get a pass in.

Congratulate players who make quick decisions.

Progression for older, more experienced players: Use a spare player as a defender who can move all over the playing area trying to steal the ball.

For more soccer coaching tips and products visit Soccer Coaching Club.