Barcelona has a flair that just about every
team envies. What we love about their game is their ability to possess and
attack. As well as having a relentless defense their style of soccer is in
essence short, sharp and very accurate passing.
They support the ball with several options and know when to take risk.
It’s a premise that provides a fantastic foundation on which to build any tactical plan.
Incorporating passing games into sessions
is a good way to teach possession. Players become adept at passing the ball
using one or two-touch play. The more touches a players gets during a session
the more comfortable they will become on the ball and with their passing. It is
best to design games and drills that require quick passes and movement off the
ball done with purpose and precision.
It is also a good way to coach first touch
and control. A quality first touch will give a player more time and space with
the ball leading to a better decision upon release of the ball and therefore a
better and more thoughtful pass. Consistent coaching a coaxing of quality first
touches will translate into a high level passing techniques that become second
nature to them.
Simple passing sessions are invaluable in
so many ways. Not only do they enhance technical skills, but by adding
variables such as one or two-touch or changes in passing distance, players have
to use anticipation and reactions rather than simple “eye to ball”
This means that when the mechanics are
slowed down in a match, players will be able to operate with increased natural
accuracy, touch and weight.
This is an exercise that can be played with
any age group – just change the distances to suit your players.
How to set it up:
- Place three cones in a straight line, with a gap of eight yards
between each – depending on the skill level of your players.
- Three players – A, B and C – position themselves, one on each cone
in succession or alphabetical order
- Using two-touch – with quick passing and a lively tempo – player A
passes short to B who touches balls to the side, for A to run on to, and pass to C. B
runs to where A started.
- C controls and passes longer to player B, who is now at the far
- Play for three minutes, then move the cones in by a yard, and
- Keep reducing the distance between the cones every three minutes
until they are two yards apart. The play here should be fast and players must
control and pass quickly.
- Progress the drill to one-touch starting at the 8 yard distance
and moving in a yard every 3 minutes. Players
must be focused, control is vital, as is direction of the pass and anticipation
of receiving a pass.
- Also experiment with using different distances between cones in
the same line. For instance, make A to B eight yards, and B to C four yards.
This gives a greater variety of distances for your players to be passing
through, and more to think about. But remember the focus should be on quick
passing and one or two-touch play.
- Create an area 12 yards long by eight yards wide.
- Keep players in groups of three and play 2v1, in which the two
players are attackers and the lone player is a defender.
Putting it into
Starting at the top end, get the attackers
to try to pass their way down the pitch without the defender gaining possession
of the ball. Begin so that the defender cannot tackle, before progressing into
Then move on to 3 v 2. Here we like to play
keep-away in a grid 20 yards by 10 yards. This forces players to use
combinations to get out of trouble and escape into open space. As an added
incentive to the defenders, if they can steal the ball and dribble out of the
grid then the offense does 5 push-ups. That is all you say? 5’s add up very
quickly in this game on top of the running that must be done to execute at a