When it comes to coaching fundamentals, you don’t get much more fundamental than passing. Players aren’t all blessed with lightning pace or accurate kicking skills, but every player should be able to pass. The passing drills and handling activities in this section provide countless ways to improve your players passing and handling skills.
A switch or scissors play helps change the angle of attack. Stop the passer tuning out after the play but look for a second touch on the ball. They are often the best-positioned player to take advantage of any break. MORE
A tip pass is a short flat pass where the passer can immediately support the receiver as they go into contact. It can unbalance the defence because of the change of focus and helps dent the defence.
Creating 2 v1 mismatches is just as effective in close as in space. The power of two is a powerful weapon. MORE
Make your switch plays into a support play too, as the passer then turns quickly to be ready to take a pass from the receiver. The receiver “wraps” back to make this work.
A switch play attacks the inside, weak shoulder of a defender. Execute this well as a passer by drawing the defender out of position. Once the pass has gone, get back into the game. MORE
Develop long passing for specific plays. This session works on running lines and timing as well as improving accuracy of passing in match-like situations. You should be able to run these throughout the season, making this an essential session. MORE
Use great footwork and leg drive to break through defences while ensuring support players are on hand to take a quick pass beyond the initial contact.
Get the ball carrier to run the right angles to attack the gap between defenders, smash through the tackle and then offload to their support players. The support players will learn the best lines to receive the offload. MORE
Use this power pass exercise to work on both passing and passing out of the contact. The variability of how the attacker is held back increases the learning outcomes as players face new passing challenges. MORE
Don’t teach falling over. Teach the players to bounce themselves and therefore the ball off the ground and back into the game. It reduces the fear of falling by making the players embrace the ground as part of a skill for continuity. MORE
Passing moves the ball to a player in a better position. Passes can also be used to manipulate the defence. A wide pass followed by a short pass back the other way is a surprisingly easy way to create gaps in the defence. Two backs could put a strong running forward into a gap, reducing the need for that forward to pass the ball. MORE