Switch play soccer drill

Get your team to keep the game flowing and split defences by swinging the ball from one side to the other, creating space and outnumbering the defence. Try a 'Switch play' soccer drill to put this into practice.
Changing the point of attack

The best teams can switch the point of attack to open defences and create space. The attackers are given a chance if they are quick to exploit it and create match-winning, goal scoring opportunities.

switch drill showing 2 teams with players in white passing across the defence

Coach your players how to switch

You need to give your players insight into how the switch works and how to convey to their team mates this is what they are trying to do. Teams tend not to have a player called a sweeper anymore, someone with a role intended to be the playmaker. The playmaker responsibility rests with all your players who can look for an opportunity to catch the opposition unawares with a clever switched pass.

Training drill set up

  • You need to use half the soccer pitch for this drill, or if you’re on an all-weather surface or in a gym, use a similar sized area.

  • Arrange your players into seven groups of 2-5 players. This means all your players can be involved. Set the drill up as in the diagram and follow the soccer drill.
  • The drill involves your players concentrating and using control and timing of movements.

Extend this soccer drill

  • Once your players can do it, make the drill a bit harder by adding another group of players to simulate a defensive or midfield line.

  • You can also add another ball so the play is coming from both sides.
  • Vary the sequence of passing and introduce one-touch play.

Key soccer coaching tip: Concentrate on the quality of the passing and control skills of your players.

How to make the soccer drill work

1. Tell your players in white to pass the ball across the defence.

2. Get them to play it forward to the team in grey.

3. Grey then plays it back to the white central-defender who passes it forward to the grey player who then passes sideways.

4. Grey then plays it forward and the passing sequence is continued with players filling in where required.