Coach players to make the right soccer pass

Midfielders can make life much easier for their strikers if they communicate with each other so the striker gets the right pass. Use this soccer passing drill to coach these skills.

Good midfielder passing skills

It's no good playing a through ball if the attacker wants it played in to their feet, the move breaks down and the chance to attack is lost.

These are two of the choices your attackers can make:

  • Run into the space behind the defence.

  • Check back towards the midfielders.

A run on to the through ball is the simplest of the two actions, but a check back will draw the defence out and leave more space behind them. The simple through ball in the diagram can be defended a lot more easily because the defenders can see the ball and the attacker and respond accordingly.

Communication tips

Attackers need to make sure they are giving the midfielder chance to pass to them, by communicating the way they are going to run. It’s no good if the attacker runs before the midfielder has made verbal or eye contact.

Your midfielders should look for body shape, so they can anticipate the attackers run. If they are half turned away, they are looking for a through ball, but if they are facing towards the midfielder square on, then they are going to check back.

A shout from the attacker, “John’s on!” is enough to alert your midfielder that the attacker is on the move, he can then look up and play the pass.

Soccer drill session to get midfielders working on football passing skills

Football passing drill options

In the diagram, the midfielder approaches the attacker who is being watched by the defenders. Option one puts a through ball with the defenders having a slight advantage.

Option two gives the attacker the advantage because the defenders are moving forwards, leaving more space at the back for the attacker to exploit.

You can see how the check back works in the diagram. The midfielder passes to the attacker (1) who passes back (2) then runs for the through ball (3). The point of attack is different and the defenders are caught moving forward.

Click here to order a copy of the Perfect Defending manual, which has 67 easy-to-coach defending drills.

Click here for a soccer training drill to get players passing through midfield.

Soccer coaching tips


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