Quick passing soccer coaching game for young players

The aim of this soccer coaching game is to encourage short passing, so play is quick as teams keep the ball away from the defender. The defender must move quickly and try to win the ball by closing down and intercepting passes.
Soccer coaching game to improve short passing skills
How to play the short passing game

  • The teams start in opposite countries (end zones) with each player, numbered from 1 to 6, passing in numerical order (1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4 and so on).

  • At any point, you can shout out a number. The players with that number must sprint across the border and try to steal their opponent's ball. Both players move at the same time.
  • The remaining players do not have to pass in sequence but must retain possession.
  • The first player to win the ball or knock it out of the opponent's country wins a point, and both players return home to restart the sequence.
  • Ensure all numbers are called but don't be predictable. The same number could be called twice in a row.
  • The first team to reach 10 points wins.

Coaching game set up

  • Create a 50 yards by 25 yards area with 10 yards end zones.

  • Have two teams of six players.
  • Use two balls.

What to call out

  • "Accurate passing."

  • "Support your team-mates."
  • "Have a good first touch."


Call two numbers at a time to practise defending in pairs. Alternatively, put restrictions on the number of touches allowed for the passing players. If one team dominates, restrict the number of touches allowed for just that team or swap players.

Click here to order a copy of Fun Soccer Games for 5 to 8 Year Olds.

Click here for a soccer drill to encourage short passing skills.