Soccer drill session to get players moving to the ball to receive

Coaching your young soccer (football) players to move to the ball, prior to receiving, it makes it harder for the ball to be intercepted and creates space, allowing the player more time to control and pass.
What you want your players to think about in the soccer coaching drill

  • Accelerating into space.

  • Communicating to receive a pass – by calling out, eye contact, movement.
  • Getting the timing right – don't move too early or the space will be lost.
  • Using ball control – cushion the ball on impact to one side in order to get it out of the feet and ready for a return pass.
  • Passing technique – accuracy, weight, sidefoot through the ball's horizontal mid-line.

Soccer coaching drill to get players moving to the ball before receiving it
Set up soccer coaching drill

  • You need four players and two balls.

Run the drill

  • The four players stand in a line with a five-yard gap between each of them. The two central players ("A" and "B") stand with their backs to each other, facing a server at either end. The servers have a ball each.

  • Play begins with players "A" and "B" calling for passes from the servers, receiving the pass and returning the ball. Players "A" and "B" then turn to receive a pass from the opposite server, taking care to both turn to their right to avoid a collision.
  • Ask the servers to take a few steps back after passing so they too can move forward to meet the return pass. Make sure that all the players practise with their left and right foot.
  • Switch the central players with the servers.

Develop the soccer drill

  • Player "A" is now the attacker and player "B" is a passive defender. Player "A" receives a pass from a server and shields the ball from player "B" before making a return pass. He then turns to repeat the drill with the other server.

  • To progress the drill skills, instruct the defender to apply some pressure. Players "A" and "B" switch roles and switch with the servers.

Make the drill into a game

Play a 4v4 game. There will be plenty of opportunities to practise the skill, particularly when the ball goes out of play and players look to make space. When the ball leaves the pitch it can be returned with a throw-in or a pass.

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Click here for a passing and receiving soccer drill.