Coaching Session Plan : Long Passing

A Better Football subscriber recently emailed to ask if I had any suggestions for a long passing session that he was planning.

I had a think about it and put together a simple session plan. I thought I would share it with you here:

Long Passing – Soccer Coaching Session Plan

Set up a pitch approximately 40m x 30m. Use markers to divide the area into three 10m thirds and use cones to mark out two 12m wide channels.

Remember to take your players through an appropriate soccer warm-up before you get into the main part of the session.

Put 2 orange bibs, 2 blue bibs and 1 ball in each channel.

1) Unopposed Practice : Long Lofted Drive

Soccer Coaching Session Plan - Long Passing Drill
Position two players at either end of each channel: one near the end-line, and one near the first coloured marker.

a) The players near the end-line use the Long Lofted Pass technique to pass to the player stood by the marker at the opposite end.

b) The passer and receiver swap after every pass from that end.

c) The receiver controls the ball and lays it of to the next passer.

d) and e) The pattern continues so that every player alternates between receiving and passing.

Initially allow players to practice the technique from a stationary ball and progress to a moving ball as appropriate.

2) Opposed Practice : Piggy In The Middle

Soccer Coaching Session Plan - Long Lofted Pass Drill
Position the orange players in the middle third and one blue player at each end of their channel.

a) The blue team must pass over the orange team. All players must stay in their designated thirds.

b) If the oranges intercept the pass, or if the ball is played out of the channel, then the teams swap places (c).

Teams earn a point for every 5 successful passes in a row.

3) Game-Related Practice : Switch

Soccer Coaching Long Passing Small Sided Game - Switch
Remove the internal markers to create a 30mx40m area and add some small goals/pod goals/poles in the middle of each end-line.

Oranges play against blues in a 6v6 directional game.

Normal football rules apply except that goals are worth 2 points.

Teams can also earn 1 point for a successful switch – where the ball is passed from one side to the other (by long-lofted pass or on the floor).

Progression: Allow only switch passes that are controlled with the first touch.


Cool down and evaluate the session with your players.

Would you like to see more like this added to the site? Let me know in the comments below.

  • dtheemann
    Hi Pavl,

    First of all, yes I would like to see more like this added to the site.

    A comment on practices 1 and 2. I miss, that you point out that the players switch foot every time they have to make a long pass. So that they always practice both the right and the left foot.

    But good progression from unopposed to game related at the end.

  • Thanks Daniel, you make a great point about working both feet.

    When coaching this practice you can also ask receivers to vary their position and adjust the weight and angle of the lay-off. Scaffold the challenges so progressing to opposed and then game-related practice is a smoother learning curve.

  • Yes, you also got another great point there - get the receivers to vary their positions.

  • Hi Pavl,

    I wrote the comment above. Will from now on use my twitter account here instead.
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