Soccer drill to coach movement off the ball

I am always looking for good ways to coach movement off the ball. The best way I've found is to set up a soccer drill which needs good fitness and penetrating passes.

How to set up a drill to coach movement

  • Start with a 15m x 15m grid and have a 4m x 4m x 4m equilateral triangle in the middle made up of cones.

  • Use five players, with one being a defender and the other four being passers/attackers.

  • The four players try to maintain possession, while also looking to score goals by playing the ball through the triangle to their teammates.

  • The defender is NOT allowed inside the triangle so he must be constantly working his way around the triangle trying to cut out the penetrating passes.

Benefits of this soccer drill

What makes this a really good soccer drill is the required movement off the ball by the attackers. On every pass they are moving in order to get into a better position to either make a penetrating pass or to receive one.

Thinking ahead to make space for the pass

The players have to be thinking ahead of the passes because it’s not good enough to just play the ball through the triangle, a teammate has to receive the ball for it to count.

triangle in a grid drill to get players looking for the best angles for passes

Working hard but having fun

The game should last five minutes with each player having a one-minute turn as the defender. It gets the players working hard, thinking and competing while having fun trying to beat their teammates. The player who gives up the least number of goals on defence wins.

In the diagram, player 1 is passing to player 3 very close to the defender. The best opportunity lies in a pass to player 2. In this way your players have to move around the square looking and creating the best angles for passes.

Key soccer coaching tip: Tell your attackers not to get too close to the triangle as it cuts down the passing angles.

Extend the soccer drill

Change to 4 v 2, or 2 v 2 v 2. Keep the 5 v 1 game going until players get good at this before you do change. Experiment with numbers, increasing the difficulty of the soccer drill as you go.

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