Pass and Move Warmup Passing Drill

Session Focus

Use this simple warmup exercise for a couple of minutes to give your players hundreds of passes and lots of combination opportunities in a very focussed practice. This passing drill lets your players pass and move amongst lots of interference and is a good primer for opposed skill practices.

Primary Aims & Objectives

To develop accurate passing, movement, communication and awareness.


  • Set-up a square area and divide in to a four x four grid.
  • Split group in to two teams and give each team one ball for every two players.
  • Players can pass to any available teammate, but passes must go in to a different grid square.

Make It Easier

Remove a ball from each team to increase the number of available passes.

Make It Harder

Players can only receive the ball in an empty square.

Passes must travel through two grid squares.


With older or more able players you may introduce third-man running.

Players can either pass with their first touch to the teammate that passed to them, or they can take an extra touch but must find a different spare teammate.

Ask players to experiment with different combinations such as overlap runs, underlap runs, give-and-go or crossovers.

2 thoughts on “Pass and Move Warmup Passing Drill

  1. Dear Bill! What do You mean by “introduce third-man running”?

    • Hi Richard,

      Third man running is a skill/tactic which sees players running off the ball into space, anticipating a pass later in the move.

      For example, a full back might start running as the central midfielder receives the ball, not to receive immediately from the midfielder but to create an option for the next receiver (e.g. The central striker).

      Or another way of looking at it is to picture a unit of three players working the ball up the pitch. As Player A passes to Player B, Player C must already be on the move into space ahead else the move will stall (as PB must either return the ball to PA or pass backwards to PC). Once the ball is on the way to PC, again PA must anticipate the next pass and already be moving into a good position to receive from PC.

      By combining in threes rather than twos, the attackers can move the ball more quickly to exploit space and gaps in the defence, and they can make life more difficult from defenders by increasing the passing options to cover and decisions for the defenders.

      Does that help?


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