In this post you’ll find 18 of the best soccer passing drills to take your game to the next level.
Good passing is an essential skill in soccer, enabling a team to keep possession, transition the ball from one area of the pitch to another, and prevent goal scoring opportunities for the opposition.
Passing is the foundation on which attacking and defensive play is built. Practicing these passing drills will help you elevate your soccer game and improve everything from pass selection to dynamic passing and prioritizing accuracy over power.
18 Of The Best Passing Drills for Soccer
In the 1-in-1-out passing drill players form four straight lines. A player from one line passes the ball to the player in the middle, who turns 180 and passes the ball before joining the back of that line. The 1-in-1-out passing drill teaches passing, receiving, and turning.
2. 4-On-3 Attack
4 players on 3 is very common in soccer, and a 4-on-3 attack drill teaches attackers how to progress using passing. It also teaches defenders positioning and defensive holding positioning.
3. Dutch Square
The Dutch square has four cones set out in a large square and players pay a set variety of passes around the markers. The most basic drill requires one player on each marker and the ball is passed around the outside from one player to the next and in succession. The Dutch square can also be used to practice one touch and pass and move techniques.
4. 4v1 Rondo
Effective passing naturally lends itself to a possession style of play, and the rondo training drill recreates this. In a rondo, there are two “teams” of players. The team that has the numerical advantage passes the ball around with the aim of preventing the other team getting the ball. Start out with a maximum of three touches for each player and work towards one touch rondo and start with 4 players versus 1 player before moving to 4 versus 2.
5. 4v2 Rondo
In 4v1 rondo, the passing team has an obvious numerical advantage that makes it relatively easy to maintain possession. By giving the other team an extra player, it greatly increases the difficulty of pass required. This 4v2 rondo soccer drills passing drill teaches fast and accurate passing.
6. Dynamic Passing Drill
Dynamic passing drills use a variety or succession of passing types and styles. This not only helps with passing but can teach pass and move and means that drills don’t get boring or too repetitive to be beneficial.
7. Short, Short Long Passing Drill
Players need to be able to play short and long passes throughout a match. The more they play both types of passes, the more comfortable they will be at quick passing and switching play from side to side. This short, short, long passing drill is effective as is, but can be made more challenging by using two balls.
8. Chelsea Y Drill
The Chelsea Y drill teaches passing and movement, has several progressions that bring variety and add complexity, and it can be further intensified through the addition of pressing players.
9. Grid Passing
The grid passing drill is easy to set up and it teaches control and passing. A single drill works for two people, but you can have rows of pairs competing by awarding a point for each successful pass made. The ball must be received and passed from within the square, and smaller squares make the drill more challenging.
10. Guard the Castle
Guard the castle is another soccer passing drill that teaches passing and decision making while also introducing a competitive element to training. The attacking team has to keep the ball by passing it around and gets a point for every successful pass where the ball passes through the central castle area.
11. Meet the Ball
Meet the ball teaches a good variety of skills that are vital to a good passing game. It requires three players. It teaches one-touch passing for the passer and receiver. It also teaches players skills with their back to the ball.
12. Numbers Passing
In the numbers passing drill, players are given a number and when a player passes the ball to another, they must shout a number and the receiving player should pass to that player. One touch passes should be played where possible and rapid passing and movement should be encouraged.
13. Arsenal W-Shaped One-Touch Passing Warm-Up
English soccer team, Arsenal, have been accused of trying to pass the ball into the net and while it was meant as a derogative slight on the team, it also shows how skilled they are at passing the ball. The Arsenal W-shaped one-touch passing warm-up is great for getting players moving and it teaches movement and one-touch passing. Markers can be used to help increase intensity and challenge level, and the coach can dictate pass numbers and pass types to practice specific skills.
14. Pass and Move
The pass and move drill teaches movement and passing but it also teaches how to advance from passing to an end product of shooting on goal. Players pass the ball and then move on to the next position. Progressions include one-touch.
15. Pass and Overlap
The overlap pass can take a defender out of position and out of play, leaving the attackers more room to move towards goal. This drill teaches the pass and overlap technique and can be progressed by adding crossing to the end of the drill.
16. Pass Through Traffic
The pass through traffic drill is a form of 2v1 passing drill in which two players attack one defender, passing between one another and either past or over the defending player before attacking goal.
17. Switching Play
Switching play from one side of the pitch to the other is a great way to open space on the pitch. Defending players are initially dragged to one side of the pitch, and by quickly transitioning the ball to the other side of the pitch, it leaves the defensive players out of position. This drill teaches quick transitioning and accurate passing.
18. Tiki Taka Possession Drill
Tiki taka possession is a style of play originally championed by Spanish teams and involves quick and accurate passing to maintain possession of the ball. This drill teaches quick passing and quick decision making and encourages the Spanish style but also improves general passing play.
Conclusion – Why You Need To Practice Soccer Passing Drills
Passing is one of the most fundamentally important elements in soccer. These 18 passing drills will teach and reinforce everything from short passing to long passing, forward passing to switching play.
Most of these drills include a variety of progressions that can help to further increase the difficulty or challenge level of the drill.
If you want to take your soccer game to the next level, concentrating on the fundamental skills is the way forward. Aside from passing, check out our other guides to the best drills for attacking, defending and ball control, and our guide to the best soccer cleats you can buy.