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Developmental Academy Coaching Sessions

Week 2 - Passing
by Darren Beesley, (USSF A / UEFA A)

Warm Up - 10mins

Sharks and Minnows -  One player volunteer or the coach starts with a ball. Player with a ball dribbles keeping it close to their feet and looks to hit players without a ball below the knee using the inside of their foot. Once you are hit with the ball below the knee, you collect a ball and become a defender. Last player standing wins.

Coaching Point - Encourage each player to keep the ball close to their feet, lift their heads up to see what's around. Inside of the foot passes on the surface, The ball must remain on the ground so encourage the players to keep their knee pointing down over the top of  the ball. Nicely weighted passes.

Make it fun - This can be turned into a team game not Individuals.

Sharks and Minnows.png

1v1 Passing - Box to Box - 10mins

Each player is assigned a box opposite an opposing player. One ball between the two players as shown below. The focus of the exercise is control and passing. In order to win a point you must ensure your pass enters the opposing players box. You also gain a point when controlling the ball inside your own box, preventing the ball from going outside of your box. The ball must remain below knee height. Make the box larger or smaller based on the ability level. Larger is easier, smaller is more challenging.

Coaching Point - Players must be on their toes ready to receive the ball. Good first touch to control the ball. Inside of the foot, passes that remain below knee height by stepping in to the pass and keeping your knee over the ball.

Make it Fun - Assign the top box a division. Example:  Premier League = Bracket, A. Assign the bottom box a lower division, Example: League 1 = Bracket, C. If you win, you move up. You lose you move down. The winning player remains in the top box. Play 2minute games.

Passing Boxes Individual.png

Advancement - 5mins

Add in an additional player 2v2. Same principles as above. This time you can add in a touch restriction x3/4 touches. One player receives the pass, teammate plays the pass. Make sure the players alternate and work as a team.


Coaching Point - Communication. Control. Accuracy and weight of the pass.

Make it Fun - Vary the distances of the squares/players.

Passing Small Boxes (Pairs).png

Passing/Accuarcy Game - 10mins

Two Teams. Each Player has a ball. Set up the correct amount of tall cones required or alternatively balance soccer balls on top of regular cones. Place a halfway line or a line of cones to separate the two teams. Players attempt to knock over there opposing teams cones/balanced balls from within there own teams half.

Coaching Point - Encourage each player to take a first touch to control the ball then use the correct part of there foot, Inside of the foot to pass the ball against the target. The ball must remain on the ground so encourage the players to keep there knee pointing down, over the top of  the ball. Nicely weighted pass.

Make it Fun - Vary the distances of the targets, bring some closer, place others slightly further away.

Passing Drill Tall Cones.png

1v1s (No Goals) - 5mins

1v1s without goals. Players go against each other 1v1 but to score a point they have to lift up there head up and return the ball to the coach with a pass. Coach should move around the playing area ensuring that the player in possession has to lift there head up and scan the field. You can also use a neutral player to replace the coach which will develop creating space and making angles to receive.


Coaching Point - Players need to lift up there head. Inside of the foot. 

Make it fun - Players can sprint around the cone, first player around the cone receives the ball

1v1 Coach Neutral.png

Advancement - 2v1/2v2s/3v2s - 10mins

Advance the exercise to 2v1/2v2/3v3. Encourage the players to demonstrate whats been emphasized in the previous stages of the exercise. Encourage spacing when in possession when increasing numbers, triangles, 4v4 emphasize a diamond shape. 

Coaching Points - Spacing, making angles and being in a position to receive the ball. Decision making, not trying to play through defenders but using team mates to play around the defenders and back to the coach/neutral.

Make it fun - Count the passes prior to returning the ball back to the coach/neutral player. This exercise can then become a very early possession exercise by counting passes whilst still making it fun.

2v2 Coach Neutral.png

4v4 Game 20mins

4v4 Game. Try to play 4v4 whenever possible to reinforce the Shape of a Diamond whilst playing 4v4. If need be rotate players in and out to allow them to get used to game days on a Saturday.

Coaching Point - Diamond Shape, Spacing. Encourage all aspects of the Session/Passing.

Wk 3. 4v4 Diamond Shape (Game).png
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