6 Ways to Improve Your Football Team’s Passing

football passing
Improving your passing in football yields awesome results on the pitch. So how do you go about it? Here are 6 ideas for improving your football team's passing.


Are you taking on the football coach role for the very first time? Perhaps you’re a seasoned coach in search of innovative methods to inspire your team. Either scenario calls for effective passing drills, vital for both practice sessions and pregame activities. These drills not only promote teamwork but are crucial for developing players at every level.

In the following sections, we’ll explore key focus areas for your drills, alongside a selection of practical examples. These can be immediately implemented at your upcoming youth football training session.

Pass and Move

Organise your football team into dynamic duo formations, assigning a sphere to each twosome. Position the pairs at a moderate distance—encompassing 10 to 15 yards of turf.

The exercise unfolds as follows: Player A kickstarts the action, propelling the sphere to Player B. Without hesitation, Player A relocates to another swath of open field. Post-reception, Player B then reciprocates, zipping the ball to Player A’s new coordinates. This back-and-forth should persist, weaving through several minutes.

The aim? Quickfire exchanges are complemented by perpetual motion. The essence of the drill lies in space strategy—it’s a cerebral game. Participants will honor their spatial forecast skills, agility in motion, and proficiency with both the swift and spot-on passes. It primes players for a football ethos where monopolizing possession reigns supreme.

The Rondo

The training ground for football often sees the rondo as a staple exercise, embraced even by elite teams. This drill is built around a simple concept where defenders, typically one or two, are placed inside a circle. They are surrounded by a cordon of players tasked with maintaining ball possession. The rondo’s complexity can be precisely tailored to match the participating players’ abilities.

Here’s how it can be simplified:

  • We allow the passers on the outside unlimited touches.
  • Reducing the number of defenders helps, with one being the least challenging.
  • Expanding the circle provides more space, granting players additional time to make decisions with the ball at their feet.

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Short Pass

Use three or more players for this exercise. Arrange the participants on the edges, maintaining a distance of 10 metres from each other, with one active contributor positioned centrally.

For this activity, two balls are initially used. The central participant accepts a pass from one side and then returns the ball promptly. This sequence should be sustained for 60 seconds prior to exchanging positions.

Evolving the routine involves a singular ball, emphasizing control and directional shift after reception for the pass to the alternate peripheral participant. Leisurely pace the passes. This approach reinforces beneficial practices and concentrates on posture during ball reception. Anticipate the direction for your next move with the initial touch.

Back Foot Receiving

Incorporating this drill, players will master the crucial skill of opening their hips. They’ll learn to deftly navigate their first touch towards a productive next move, setting the stage for a seamless pass — a technique indispensable for all roles on the field. To heighten the challenge, expand the distance between cones. Acceleration of the activity’s pace is also recommended for increased difficulty.

Each participant must concentrate on guiding their initial touch around the cone’s perimeter. It should be forceful yet controlled, allowing for an ensuing pass without a third touch being necessary. Be sure to practice this drill in alternating directions. Such practice ensures that players become equally adept with both feet.

Two-Touch Passing

In this exercise, pairs of players engage in continuous passing. The ball is collected around an obstacle, and then swiftly passed to the teammate. Mastery of this technique equips players to adeptly navigate the pitch with seamless first touches that effectively widen the gap between them and their adversaries.

A player’s adeptness at using varied parts of both feet—the interior and exterior—improves with this practice. Such versatility proves crucial during gameplay. Performing a touch that traverses the body isn’t merely about eluding opponents; it positions players optimally for their subsequent action with the ball.

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Triangle & Square Passing


Engage in this versatile passing exercise, suitable for trios or larger groups.

  • Commence by arranging markers into geometrical shapes—triangles for three individuals, squares for four or more.
  • When the ball approaches, let your initial contact guide you into an advantageous position, setting the stage for your subsequent move.
  • Pivoting your stance and propelling the ball toward your intended path is crucial.
  • Initiate with the ball meeting the inside of your foot, nudging it skillfully. Growth in confidence? Attempt maneuvers with the outer edge of the same foot. Precision passing originates from the inner foot and demonstration of adeptness with both is recommended.


Assemble an email thread with your coaching team and decide on various drills—introduce them consistently at practice. Bear in mind the brief concentration spans of your players; it’s advisable to engage them with multiple drills, each lasting between five to ten minutes. Consistency in routine underpins improvement. Yet, it’s paramount to intersperse activities with enjoyable elements and ensure constant movement to fend off boredom.


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