You should incorporate passing under pressure into every training session, even if just part of a warm-up. Using this 10-minute progression will improve your players’ passing. MORE
From basics to tactics
Work on core passing skills and decision making in quick succession. Make sure players continue to develop their basics and tactical awareness. An ideal session to rebuild confidence or even for pre-season.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-8
What to think about
Standing line exercises are a common way of isolating passing core skills, in which players can concentrate on their upper body movements, especially shoulders and hands. However, players quickly become bored, so this combination exercise should keep them interested.
Emphasise good technique in the standing lines but allow players to feedback their mistakes in the decision-making elements.
- Keep the ball above the hips, pass through to the receiver.
- Attract defenders by running with your hips facing straight up the pitch.
What you get your players to do
In a 10m square, put four players in a line 2m apart 3m from one end. They pass the ball along the line left and right (see picture 1).
Then shout out a name (or letter) and that player turns and runs around two of the cones behind before re-entering the box to act as a defender.
The player in possession of the ball runs to one of the corners, puts the ball on the ground and feeds one of the other two players who have run to the end of the box in front of them. They then perform a 2v1 (use touch tackling – see picture 2). Swap middle and outside players and then repeat the passing game as before, calling out a different letter or name.
Make the box wider.
Add an extra player and make it 3v2 with the feeder acting as the extra attacker.
In a 20m x 10m box, split into pairs. Put two pairs in the middle 2m area, one starting with the ball. There is a pair at either end of the box and one at the side (see picture 3).
The middle two pairs attack one end (use either touch or full tackling) with the pair at that end coming forward to defend. Allowing no rucks or mauls, the 4v2 finishes either with a try, infringement or tackle in possession.
When this happens, the original pair with the ball become defenders at the end they were attacking, the attacking pair who started without the ball gather the ball and attack towards the other end, with a new pair of attackers joining from the side of the middle. The defenders from the previous attack move to the side as spares (see picture 3). Continue so that each pair attacks at least four times.
What to call out
- “Look at your target”
- “Pass to the target standing still, pass in front of the target when running”
- “Attack hard and straight – pass firm”