Effective passing is the key to winning in football. The best passing teams dictate the play, conserve energy, make the best of their resources and score more goals. Passing is about technique, judgment and vision. These articles look give you some great advice on how to coach these attributes to your players. Long passing, short passing, side foot passing and crossing are all dealt with. We also give you some great passing games and really sharpen your players’ passing skills.

  • Shuttle Passing - This is a passing, receiving and conditioning football drill for groups of three or four players. Shuttle passing can also be used to practice heading and a variety of other ball skills.

  • War! - A very popular game for children (and fun-minded adults) that emphasises beating the player. Some of them will want to play this one all day!

  • Distance passing - This session looks at how to properly coach distance passing. You only need six players to complete one of his sessions, though it can easily be expanded to meet your needs. With lots more players you could have a number of grids working at the same time.

  • Improve Your Players’ Short Passing Skills - One of the great advantages of the 4v4 training programme is that your players get used to passing the ball and it becomes second nature to them. It creates goals, gets them out of trouble and is great to watch. But to do this you still have to make sure they know what a short pass is and when to use it.

  • How to Pass the Ball Out from the Back - Good teams can pass the ball out from the back in a structured controlled manner. Tony Carr, Academy Director at West Ham United, explains how to coach your players to do it.

  • How to Coach Perfect Passing Technique - There has been a bit of a debate going on between some of our readers and on our forum, The Dug-Out, over how to coach the simple pass. So here's our take on it.

  • How to Coach Football Vision - Coaches should encourage players to play their first touch away their body and into a position that will give them time to weigh up the options for their next pass. It's all about vision.

  • Five Ways to Devastate a Defence - Two-man attacking moves can be used to devastating effect to prise open tight defences, writes Tony Rock, a Fulham FC Football in the Community coach.

  • How Goalkeepers are Crucial for Good Passing Moves - Successful distribution from the keeper is a hallmark of a good side. This means that building up from the back is better than launching the ball up field hoping one of your players can get it, says David Clarke.

  • A Great Way to Coach Passing and Receiving - Constant passing using match-like situations and a bit of competition to give it an edge is the best way to coach your players to be ready for football matches. And it should be fun too, says David Clarke.

  • How to Coach Your Team to Switch Play - Get your team to keep the game flowing and split defences by swinging the ball from one side to the other to create space and outnumber the defence. You can also release pressure by switching the ball, says David Clarke.

  • Get Better Quicker by Passing Under Pressure - We’ve all been at matches where your player has the ball in an important area, he looks up only to see an opponent bearing down on him and he is powerless to keep hold of the ball. You need to prepare him, says David Clarke.

  • Coach Your Team to Pass Past Players - There is a direct relationship between overall team success and both the total number of passes and the passing success rate. In combinations of twos and threes you can pass your way to goal, says David Clarke.

  • Wham Some Slam Into Players’ Kicking Skills - It’s very rare that I advise coaches to use training sessions that need something like a wall because not all of you have access to one, but this is one game that deserves going out of your way to find one, says David Clarke.

  • Dutch-Style Counter Attacking - There is such an emphasis on everyone trying to play a short passing game that many youth players cannot play an accurate long ball. But the best players can hit 40, 50 or 60 yard passes, says David Clarke.

  • Street-wise players are winners - Many of the top coaches and players in modern-day football will tell you how they grew up playing in the back streets with their friends. Playing back street football means you try your hardest or your friends will soon get on at you. That means constantly trying skills, techniques and ideas that you wouldn't normally do at training - there are no grown ups to tell you not to do it. But it’s a dying trend so you have to create an atmospere and give them coaching sessions that bring out those skills.

  • Use shapes to make your team stronger - Shapes are important in soccer. They happen all over the pitch and you have to make sure your players know how to use them.

  • Three kicking tips for pitch and weather conditions - Kicking tips for rain, wind and long grass

  • Square Passing - A great way to coach accurate passing and good technique.

  • Football passing drill - A great practice for young teams to aid decision making.

  • Square passing - A simple passing square is a great way to coach accurate passing with good technique.

  • Passing under pressure techniques - Three games for young teams to improve passing decisions.

  • How to play in triangles - West Ham Academy Director Tony Carr believes that beating your opponent is a vital skill to teach youth players. One of the best ways to get players to pass past an opponent is to teach them the wall pass. This means your team can play in small triangles all over the pitch to gain advantage and create goal scoring opportunities.

  • Possession versus pressure - Using the same pitch as above you can play this game. It's all about one team keeping the ball and the other putting pressure on and winning the ball to create goal scoring chances.

  • Football coaching tips for long passing skills - It is important to be able to pass the ball over long distances because it is often the quickest way to exploit the space behind a defence, or the fastest method of switching the point of attack. Use these football coaching tips and drill to help.

  • Small sided football coaching game to develop passing with purpose - This small-sided football coaching game is a great way to get your players passing with purpose when they're under pressure. Clever, disguised passing makes all the difference in this game as teams stop the opposition from scoring points.

  • Football coaching session to improve passing to keep possession - Passing the ball is a key element for your team keeping possession and vital to progression on the pitch. A poor pass will often result in poor control and losing the ball. A poor pass can also lead to interceptions by the opposition and a counter attack which could give a goal away.

  • Football passing game - Although this game is heavily weighted in favour of the passing team, the need to make 10 consecutive passes puts pressure on the players in a tight area.

  • Full backs attack from deep with a wall pass - Intelligence on the pitch isn’t something that comes naturally to all players. Many will make good passes or strong tackles but won’t think about what follows. Smart players are those who learn there is more than one part to a move – they must link, support and anticipate.

  • Football coaching session on the lay-out pass - This session is called the "Lay-off pass" by Tony Carr. When performed with the right weight and timing, a lay-off pass speeds up attacking play and creates opportunities your team can exploit.

  • Creating space on the football pitch with throw ins - Creating space is something coaches talk about all the time because if your team has space to work in, it is easier to keep possession of the ball.

  • Pass the ball to team mates to keep possession - Younger players tend to want to attack the opponent's goal at every opportunity. This enthusiasm is a good quality in young players but it can often affect the team's rhythm because each player that receives the ball wants to immediately dribble or run forward in search of a goal.

  • Football warm up encouraging passing and receiving - This warm-up encourages passing and receiving and is again simple to set up and play.

  • Training players to play short and long passes to win the match - One player I never get tired of watching is Yaya Toure of Manchester City and Ivory Coast. The attacking midfielder has built his reputation on his ability to thread a pass long or short that can split defences wide open and create space for an attacker to work in.

  • Football coaching game to improve players' performance - If this game (called Box to box) is rerun regularly during the course of a few weeks, you will quickly see players picking up methods and ideas they can easily transfer in to match situations.

  • Possession and penetration football session - Here's a session, divided into two parts, that benefits players in three core elements.

  • Football game to get players passing with purpose - This is a great small-sided game to get your players passing with purpose.

  • Pass and turn your way to fitness - At this stage of the season in England my players are preparing for a rush of games which will come thick and fast because we had to cancel so many in the past few months. They are beginning to tire and I feel we need a few sessions to get their fitness up.

  • Have some fun with Jailbreak - Jailbreak is a great game to give your players a bit of fun on training night. It gets them using skills and techniques to shield and hold the ball, improve quick passing and develop the art of closing down opponents to win the ball.

  • The best way to practise the long pass - Move the ball before you kick it 
    In a soccer match, the ball is moving when you receive it so when you practise your long kicking, make sure you move the ball to make your kicking practise more match-like.

  • Set it back - Use two strikers and split the rest of your players into two lines of midfielders. A midfielder makes a diagonal pass to one of the strikers, in the centre channel, who controls the ball and then sets the ball back to the midfielder.

  • Possession squares - Soccer isn't always difficult to work out – when your team has the ball, the opposition can't hurt you. So retaining possession means protecting your team.

  • Switch with a long pass - It is important to be able to pass the ball over long distances because it’s often the quickest way to exploit the space behind a defence, or the fastest method of switching the point of attack.

  • Play forward, score goals! - If you want your players to create more goalscoring chances in matches then getting them to move the ball forward quickly is a great way to start.

  • A simple art with big impact - If every team got its players to use passes with purpose, they would be much more successful in creating goalscoring opportunities. And by the same token, nothing will destroy a team more than inaccurate passing.

  • Play forward, score goals! - If you want your players to create more goalscoring chances in matches then getting them to move the ball forward quickly is a great way to start.

  • Playing the killer pass - One player in my U9s team is head and shoulders above the others when it comes to reading the game. He has the vision to see where he can pass the ball or knows when he should run with it.

  • Jailbreak! - Jailbreak is a great game to give your players a bit of fun on training night. It gets them using skills and techniques to shield and hold the ball, improve quick passing and develop the art of closing down to win the ball.

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