Making Runs For Long Passes

By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

Welcome to the FineSoccer Drills Newsletter. Today’s featured activity works on making a long pass, receiving a long pass and then timing runs for balls served from the side.

With the big emphasis on small sided soccer (which usually means small fields) a lot of players have lost the ability to pass a ball 35-40 yards accurately and also to receive these type of balls. This is a progression which works on that, and a lot more.

Start with a player in the middle of the field 45 yards out or so. Another player is out wide and then there are two players on the other side. There is also a keeper in goal.


The player in the middle starts with a ball and drives a ball out wide to the waiting player


Ideally this first pass will be a line drive and the player will receive it in the air and have to focus on the first touch.

The receiving player plays the ball down the line with his first or second touch (depending on how the first pass was hit) and can either hit an early ball to the three runners.


Or he can take it down to the end line and play the ball back out.


As soon as the play is over, another group starts up.

Once the players get accustomed to this activity we add one defender for the two wide runners.


The players do the exact same thing but now the outside player has to read the defender as opposed to just serving a ball in randomly. This is still an easy situation for the attackers as there are three attackers near the box and only one defender.

Next we add a second defender who starts with the player with the ball; As soon as the ball gets played wide, both defenders sprint back toward their 18 to get better positions than the three runners.

Next we add a third defender who starts at the corner of the 18 nearest the receiving wide player.


Once the ball is played out wide, it’s now a live situation. If this defender doesn’t pressure the ball, the wide player can cut in toward goal.


If the player starts wide first, then the server would play an early ball in.

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If the defender sprints at the player with the ball, the player takes the ball down the line and serves it back out.


Make sure all players have the opportunity to play all roles.

This activity requires the ability to play a long pass, the ability to receive a long pass, the timing of runs, the reading of situations and much more.

Have a great day!


By Lawrence Fine, Author of the FineSoccer Coaching Bible.

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