Here are 10 soccer drills for possession which are great for adding to your team practice sessions.
Keeping possession prevents the opposition team from getting the ball and scoring. Through the controlled passing and retaining of the ball, it is also possible to build up to scoring goals more easily. But passing requires positioning, ball control, good passing, and awareness and decision making. The following drills for possession help teach these and other elements, as well as how to transition from possession to attacking while minimizing the risk of losing ball.
10 Soccer Possession Drills
1. 1 v 1 +2 Neutral Players
In this 1v1 +2 neutral players drill, two players stand outside a marked rectangle and two stand inside. The ball is played to one of the players in the rectangle.
They must retain possession and are only permitted to play the ball to one of the players outside the rectangle. The player outside the rectangle must either pass it back to the player they received it from, or to the other neutral player.
The job of the extra player is to try and intercept or take the ball. When this happens, possession switches and that player must play to a neutral player.
2. 3 Zone Possession Drill
For the 3 zone possession drill, the pitch is separated into three equal sections with two pairs of players in each section. Players must stay in their own sections and play the ball between themselves and their partner player, before moving it to one of their players in the next section. The aim is to transition the ball from one section to the next before scoring at the end. You can add touch restrictions to each section to ramp up the difficulty.
3. Over The River
The over the river drill primarily teaches good possession skills, although it does also teach defenders how to try and break down possession. The pitch is split into three sections with four players in either end section and four defenders in the middle river. The ball starts at one end. The player with the ball tries to keep possession while one defender moves into that sections to take the ball. The four possession players pass the ball around until they can see a gap to pass the ball over or through the river to the other section.
4. 4 vs 4 + 2
The 4 vs 4 + 2 is a possession game where two teams of four compete against one another in a rectangle, aiming to keep possession and prevent the other team getting the ball. Two neutral players are located in channels at the end, and these can be used by whichever team has possession. A point is scored when a team in possession passes to a neutral in a corner square of the channels.
5. 3 vs 3 + 2
In 3 vs 3 + 2, there are teams of three defenders and three attackers, as well as two neutral players. The neutral players always work on the side of the possession team, and the aim is to keep possession without giving it away. The aim of the defenders is to nick the ball. Add a touch limit to some or all teams to make it more challenging, or restrict the neutral players so they can only pass back to the original player.
6. How To Perfect The Possession Game
Possession is largely pointless, if there is no goal at the end of it, although it can be used to stifle the opponent if your team is winning. This drill trains possession but with a view to turning that possession into a goalscoring opportunity.
7. Four Box Rondo
One of the key skills required to maintain possession is to be able to make the right decisions when being put under pressure. A rondo teaches good, close passing, and this four box rondo variation. The drill does require a full squad because it consists of four teams of four players, with all teams wearing different colors. Each team starts passing a ball in their own teams to get moving. The coach then shouts a color and that team splits and runs to try and steal the ball from the other teams.
8. End Zone Possession
While short passing might make maintaining possession easier, it isn’t always a viable option. Whether players are being crowded out by the opposition or if short passing isn’t progressive enough, through balls and longer passing is key to splitting the opposition. This is a simple possession drill that teaches players to look for opportunities and react to them, as well as how to recognize runs and act on them.
9. 4v1 Rondo
The 4v1 Rondo is one of the simplest and most widely used of all soccer drills. Four players stand around a single player and pass the ball between themselves while the individual player attempts to steal the ball from them. You can make the Rondo larger or smaller and add requirements like one or two touches to make the drill simpler or harder.
10. Midfield Box Possession Drill
The midfield box possession drill is a 6v3 rondo. There are six attackers and three defenders Two of the attackers play at the ends of the box while the remaining four play in the box, along with the defenders. The end players must stay outside the box and the possession team must attempt to pass between themselves. If the attacking team maintains possession for 10 seconds, they get a point. If the defending team steal the ball and make three successful passes, they get the point. Initiate a touch limit to ensure the ball keeps moving and to potentially increase the difficult.
Conclusion – Best Soccer Drills For Possession
Possession is a critical part of the modern game, but it needs an end product. Maintaining possession can be used to stifle the opposition but it can also create openings in defence and produce goalscoring opportunities. Above are the 10 best possession drills you can do to help you improve your soccer game.