Keeping Technical Passing Exercises Fresh

Teaching players the technical skills of the game is the most important job of a coach who is working with young players. Finding new and creative ways to help the players groove passing technique is one of the more challenging things to do. The players need hundreds of repetitions of the correct technique before their muscles can repeat the motion accurately. There's only so long that two players can stand across from each other and pass the ball back and forth before they'll grow bored and loose focus. But if you move too quickly into competitive passing and possession games, which are fun and engaging, then the players won't use the correct technique and they'll end up repeating poor passes. Remember, practice doesn't make perfect; practice makes permanent.

So new ways to present the same technical challenge becomes the objective. One of the variations I've used is from a session that I found in our, 'Training Sessions of Europe's Top Teams'. It's a session that Jan Prujin of Ajax F.C. presented at the NSCAA Convention.

A series of passing, dribbling and moving drills are set up, focusing on various parts of the foot for control. The starting player always initiates the quality of the movement with one and two-touch restrictions encouraged.

First player uses a right foot pass to start, second player a left foot and so on.  Then after two minutes, change feet.

Progression 1
Players move on to a variety of different passing exercises with the focus now on getting into the right position to make the right pass.

Progression 2
Move the distance between the groups back five yards for every variation.

Coaching Points

  • Players direct who to pass to next
  • Open up the body to prepare the pass early

Variation 1
Various elements are introduced/added for each passing sequence.

  • Identify which body part to use prior to receiving the ball
  • Focus on which foot initiates the passing sequence

Variations 2
Players are encouraged to communicate their passes early and to accelerate out of the pass.

I'm sure you can come up with a number of different progressions and variations, Share them by leaving a comment to this post. The best one (as voted on by the WORLD CLASS COACHING staff) will receive the eBook, 'Training Sessions of Europe's Top Teams' for free.

Have a Great Day!

Tom Mura

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