Wall passing with a third man running

by Pablo M15th Apr 2020

Drill created with Tactics Manager

Wall passing, also known as “give an go”, is the simplest and most commonly used passing combination. It is a play in which a player passes the ball to a teammate, then accelerates past a defender and receives it back. In this post, we describe a drill involving multiple wall passes with a third man breaking through the defensive line to score.


This drill requires you have access to one half of a football field. You will need enough cones to mark the pitch, 4 x training mannequins  and a good number of balls (2 minimum). Distribute the cones and mannequins as shown in the picture below. If you don’t have mannequins or can’t get hold of a football field for training, be creative. For example, instead of mannequins, you can actually ask a few team mates to act as defenders but without challenging the ball.

Ideally, you want to practice this drill with a minimum of 6 players and a goalkeeper. But, if you are struggling for numbers, you can practice the progressions with as little as 3 players and no goalkeeper. On the other hand, you don’t want to have too many players waiting in line. Otherwise, players will wait outside for too long. You want everyone moving constantly.

Drill created with Tactics Manager


The way this drill works is to exploit the space behind the defending players. To achieve this, two players work on wall passes in the zones with mannequins while a third player waits in the narrow swimming lanes to make a run towards the goal. The progression of the drill is as follows:

  • A player starts by passing the ball to the team mate in their mannequins zone and makes a run passing the first mannequin.
  • The second player receives the ball, passes it behind the first mannequin and starts a run to the second mannequin.
  • The third man waits in the outside lanes.
  • Repeat the previous sequence on the second mannequin.
  • Once the player that started the progression receives the ball behind the second mannequin, the players complete one more wall pass around the second mannequin in direction to the first mannequin, moving away from the goal.
  • At this point the third player starts running towards the goal
  • When the starting player receives the ball between the two mannequins, they launch a long pass behind the second mannequin into the box. This last movement should set the running player with an opportunity to score.
  • The running player receives the ball and shoots at goal.
  • Players should only use two touches at all times: receive and pass; receive and shoot.

Once the first round is completed, the sequence is repeated but this time the shooting players wait in the interior lane to make a run . Have a look at the animation and video below for the full sequence.

As the players complete the sequence, change their position in the field. How your swap players will depend on how many of them are available to practice. For example, if you only have 6 players, you can move them clockwise. The players in the left zone become shooting players while the two shooting players move into right zone and the players in the right zone move to the left zone.

Start slow and increase intensity as players get comfortable. The objective is to complete the sequence as quickly as possible.

Drill created with Tactics Manager


Wall passing is a very effective maneuver to beat a defensive line close to the goal. This combination is the basis of many attacking patterns.

Timing and passing technique are key to a wall passing. It is important to practise the timing of the return pass so the ball is passed quickly and accurately. Acceleration after the pass is made is also important so the defender has less time to recover. When these are performed properly, it advances the ball while reducing the risk of a defender taking it away. 

In summary, this drill will improve:

  • Passing accuracy 
  • Timing – of passing and running
  • Team coordination
  • Shooting accuracy