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Passing and Receiving Part 2

by Anne Haertel

Part I of the passing and receiving series concentrated primarily on helping players improve their ability to pass and receive the ball well. This section continues with that theme, but adds the important concepts of creating space, showing in channels, supporting the pass and making runs to create options. The first exercise, Circle Passing, keeps players moving in a fairly confined space, continues to develop the first touch and incorporates more parts of the body.

The second exercise, 6 Man Passing Drill, develops the idea of making runs away from the pass to either check back into space or draw a defender away to make a channel for the passer and the checking player to make and receive a pass. Players will learn to act to create options rather than react to what happens.

Make sure players are properly warmed-up by doing active, moving activities and stretches before proceeding with the following drills. Include “J” and “V” runs in which players make runs to create space which resemble the letters J and V.

Circle Passing:

Place half of the players with soccer balls around the outside of the center circle. If there will be more than six players, have them stand three to five feet back from the line. The other players will be inside the circle. The players inside the circle will make “J” runs or “V” runs to check to and receive passes from the players on the outside of the circle. Players must call for the ball no closer than six yards away. The ball is returned to the outside player with a one or two touch pass. While the outside players are waiting to make the passes, they will be keeping their feet moving by touching their ball from side to side, triangles, etc. It is important that they keep on their toes, keep the ball moving and be prepared to pass the ball to the inner player with either foot. Continue the drill for one minute with the players working hard, then switch the outside and inside players and repeat.

When the second group has finished put the first group back in and have them return balls that are thrown from the outside players. These balls should be placed about waist high. Inside players should be catch the balls on their thigh, drop it on the ground, and then pass it with the foot back to the outside player.

The third round will include balls thrown that can be trapped by running through it with the body around chest high. They will be dropped to the ground and passed back with the foot.

The fourth round will involve having the outside player through the ball high enough into the air that the players can head them back. Work on returning the balls in a defensive manner, (high and long) and in an offensive manner, (down and low).

6 Man Passing Drill

This drill is designed to help players learn about making runs to open channels for other team mates to pass into as well as supporting the next pass.

Player 1 passes to player 3, while player 2 makes a circular run away from player 3, then checking back to receive the ball from 3. As the ball is going to player 2, player 4 checks into the grid to receive the ball from 2. After player 3 passes the ball to 2, he makes a circular run away from players 2 and 4 and moves into position to receive the ball from player 4. Player 4 makes a run outside to clear the lane so 3 can pass to 5. Player 5 passes the ball to player 4. Player 4 passes to player 6 who has stepped into the first position. After each pass, the players advance to the next spot on the grid. The passing progression is 1-3-2-4-3-5-4-6.

The keys to this drill are:

The players making the supporting runs must make circular runs at least three yards away from where the passes will be going to simulate pulling the defense away to open a passing lane.

Receiving players must position themselves in relation to the player they will receive the pass from. Passing players must face the player, to whom they are passing and use proper technique, i.e., opening up hips, following through, etc. Players start making the supporting runs while the ball is traveling to the player who will make the pass to them. Adjust the size of the grid to practice working in tight spaces or to work on open up the field as much as possible. Players must continually work on their ability pass and receive. In addition they need to make sure they are creating space and supporting passes when they don’t have the ball and deliver accurate clean passes when they do. Designed with CoachFX.

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