Small sided game to practise passing along the back line

Giving your players the confidence to use a short ball from a goal kick will help their overall development as a player because it coaches them to stay calm under pressure and shows them how doing so will create space further up the field for midfielders to exploit.

By playing the ball along the back line, the opposition attackers are immediately drawn forward away from the midfield. This will open up space that your midfielders or attackers can drop into to provide an outlet for the defenders to pass the ball.

One of the best ways to coach this is to use match-like situations so the defenders are under pressure. A 7-a-side game is ideal for this, it will give you sufficient players to make the defenders work hard passing and keeping the ball moving, and allow your midifielders to run into the resulting space.

Key soccer coaching tip: Tell the attackers you want them to close the defenders down quickly, forcing them to control and play the ball at match pace.

Because one of the important soccer coaching tips in teaching this move is player confidence, you can point out mistakes to the players involved but make it quite clear mistakes do not matter and are part of the learning process.

Mistakes to watch out for

Passing along the back line means players must get the right weight of pass and be accurate in the direction. Anything short or wayward could result in the opposition getting the ball and attacking the goal.

When passing into the midfielder, players must be alert and move to support the pass or again the opposition will be first to the ball and hit your team on the counter attack.

In the diagram you can see that in a normal set up, the defenders will face one or two attackers who are drawn further up the pitch than normal from a goal kick. This means the midifielders will have more space to receive the ball. You can also see how predatory attackers will punish any poor passing.

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