Return to play: Pythag passing

Develop your players passing on the run, changing angles and base passing (passing off the ground), while still maintain some social distancing.

It’s easy to set up and can be used as a warm-up or a skills breakout. Why Pythag? You are going along the “adjacent” side of a right-angled triangle before attacking the “hypotenuse” then returning on the “opposite”.

  1. Set up pairs of players 3m apart. The ball carrier starts on the red cone.

  1. When you say “go”, they run forward, making a pass as they run.
  2. With younger, less experienced players, you can score them an extra point for running onto the pass, or passing on the run.
  3. For more experienced players, score them an extra point for keeping the ball off-the-chest on the catch.

  1. The players then set themselves to return. This time the passing player is using a base pass, that is a pass from the ground.
  2. As the receiver moves forward towards the red cone, shout a colour. If it is red, they move towards the red cone, otherwise, they change direction towards the colour.
  3. Score the same points as above. The run forward should be slow before accelerating when the colour is called.
  4. They then reset themselves on the original starting cones to go again.
  5. After two goes, swap starting roles. After another two goes, repeat the sequence but starting from the green cone.


Add a defender, who always starts on the red cone and walks forward.

The passer follows their pass and gets into a space to receive another pass.

Adjust the length and width of the areas to suit the skills of your players.


  • Hands up and fingers spread to take the pass.
  • Pass for the player, not to the player.
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