Passing game to get your players thinking quickly

If snow-covered soccer pitches are holding up training, try some simple passing exercises to keep your team busy. The ball will move around quite easily and with this soccer drill you can keep your players' minds on passing rather than throwing snowballs at each other.

Key soccer coaching tip

One of the aims of this soccer coaching drill is to get your players used to calling a name as they receive the ball. Don't just let them receive the ball then look around before they pass. Tell your youngsters you want quick one- and two-touch passing and receiving with a name before the pass is away. This encourages them to have a picture of what they are going to do with the ball before it reaches them.

Soccer training drill to get players passing and calling out names

Soccer drill set up

  • I use the centre circle for this drill or set up a circle about 20 yards across.

  • Start with only one ball – but have others ready.
  • You are looking for good calling and accurate passing. As the receiving player gets the ball he must shout out the name of the next player he is going to pass to.
  • Tell your players they must shout at the same time as they receive the ball not after.
  • This means the players are thinking ahead of the play and that they must think where the ball is going before they receive and control it.

How to change the drill

  • Get your players to move freely around the circle so they are looking up to see who they can pass to.

  • Add a second ball.

Make sure your players:

  • Are thinking ahead about who they want to pass to.

  • Call out loudly and clearly.
  • Get a good first touch.
  • Make good accurate passes.

Get more tips like these in my coaching publication Soccer Coach Weekly, which contains advice on how to be a better coach. Click here to find out more.

Click here for a soccer coaching drill to get players working on their passing and receiving skills.