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Essential passing drills

Football passing drills to improve your game

Football passing drills are big part of any team training. If you want to pass the ball like Xavi Hernandez, you have to practice these drills over and over until you automate the movements. All you need for these exercises are one partner and four cones.

Gated passing

Set two cones forming a gate of about one meter wide, then set another gate five meters away. You and your partner go behind each gate. Pass the ball back and forth between the gates allowing the ball to come through the gate each time. You can do this with either one touch or two touches. You want to make sure that the ball goes right down the center of the two gates. It is important to work on creating a positive first touch in front of you.

This drill is actually harder than you think it’s going to be. It is a drill used regularly by teams of all ages and skill levels.

Looped passing

Put two cones about ten meters apart. Go around the cones first clockwise and then counterclockwise. If you’re going around counterclockwise, you want to receive the ball on your left foot, tap the ball to your right foot and then pass it with your right foot. Your partner is going to be doing the same movements. When you go around clockwise, you use your right foot to receive and your left foot to pass.

The key on the touch is using the right amount of strength. If you are too soft you’re gonna have to wait on the ball to roll past the cone to pass it back. If you put too much weight on the touch, the ball will roll out away from you and you’re not going to be able to complete a good pass.

Driven ball

Create a long lane of about five meters wide and thirty meters long. Have a partner at one end and you on the other end. Kick the ball with the laces of your boot so it’s driven below knee height. You want to skim over the ground or about thirty centimeters above the ground. The ball has to move in a straight line.

Try working on just using two touches but you can take a third touch if you need to.

Box touch

Create two 3×3 boxes boxes about thirty meters apart. You and your partner will loft the ball so that it lands right inside the box. Take a good first touch so it gets out in front of you inside the box and then loft the ball back to your partner.

This passing drill will improve your accuracy on lofted passes.

Long ball

You and your partner stand about 50 meter apart or however far you can pass the ball. Work on hitting it full strength straight and accurate every single time. You want to avoid having the ball to bounce before it reaches your teammate. A bouncing ball is harder to control and you may lose possession of the ball.

Long passes require good reading of the game and should be used sparingly. When done right, long passes create many striking opportunities.

Practice makes perfect

Include these football passing drills in every training session. Mix it up a bit, use one drill in one session, another passing drill in the next session and so on. Remember to repeat these exercises using both feet to improve your accuracy with your weak foot.


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