A Better Football subscriber recently emailed to ask if I had any suggestions for a long passing session that he was having difficulty planning.
How do you coach long passing without resorting to dull static practices which don’t look anything like the game itself?
Better Football put together these simple but enjoyable practices in to a long passing session just for you.
Unopposed Practice : Long Lofted Drive
Set up a pitch approximately 40m x 40m. Put a 20m x 20m area in the centre. (See the diagram above)
Remember to take your players through an appropriate soccer warm-up before you get into the main part of the session.
Split your players in to three teams.
Position one team in the central area and the other players around the outer area.
a) The players on the outside play a one-two pass combination with the players in the centre.
b) The players on the outside then use the Long Lofted Pass technique to pass to a teammate stood on the opposite side of the area.
c) The receiver controls the ball and then finds a player in the centre to combine with.
If players are struggling to strike a moving ball accurately you can allow them to stop the ball and then gradually increase the speed of the pass in to them as they grow in confidence.
Opposed Practice : Overload Game
Pick up a couple of markers to leave a pitch with two channels.
a) Two teams combine against one defending team.
b) Both teams earn a point if they can complete 10 successive passes.
c) Teams can also earn a point instantly by completing a pass from one channel to the other.
d) If a team gives away the ball they become the defenders and the other teams combine.
Game-Related Practice : Switch
Add goals to the end lines.
a) Reds play against blues in a 4v4 plus goalkeepers directional game. Depending on numbers also have up to two all-time attackers.
b) Defenders are only allowed in to a channel if the ball is in that channel.
c) Play first to a three-goal lead or for five minutes and then change the all-time attackers (and possibly goalkeepers).
Cool down and evaluate the session with your players.
Have you tried these or similar practices? Did you adjust the session to work better with your players? Let me know in the comments below.