Tag Archives for " Possession "

Color Passing and Movement

By David Johnson

This session will focus on players thinking before the ball is passed and moving without the ball to open space.   Following a color sequence predetermines the passing but movement is player driven.  The players should open up to the passer as well as be in a position to pass immediately the next player in the pattern.   1-2 touch is the objective with constant ball movement and communication.

Set Up
Using the set up as above. 4 cones are placed in a diamond shape 10-12 yards apart.   4 players each wearing a different color practice jersey start at each cone.  1 player starts with 1 ball.

The coach calls out a color pattern such as RED, GREEN, YELLOW, BLUE.   This indicates to the players the order in which the ball must be passed to each player.  So the RED players passes to GREEN and then GREEN passes to YELLOW, and then YELLOW passes to BLUE.  The last color in the sequence then passes to first color to start the pattern again.  So in this example BLUE would pass to RED to start the pattern again.   The excrise begins with no player movement as the ball just passes around based on the color pattern.   The coach should change the color pattern every 45-60 seconds to make players adjust to new angles.

After the ball is passed the passer must switch with the player on any other cone except the player that just received the ball.  So if RED passes to GREEN then RED must switch with either YELLOW or BLUE.  This requires thoughtful movement of the players without the ball.  Now the ball might be passed to a player on the move between cones.  This creates much more game like dynamics.

Only have 3 players on the 4 cones.  The movement after the pass is then to the open cone.  The color pattern is then only 3 colors.

Coaching Points
– Open up to accept the pass and be ready to send it to the next color in the pattern.
– Ensure players are receiving the ball with the correct foot to ensure position to shield the ball from the defense
– A passive defender can be added to the middle of the diamond

By David Johnson

David Johnson has been a high school coach for more than 20 years.

Possession focused on 1v1 duels

By David Johnson

This session will focus on passing and maintain possession.  The focus needs to be on proper weight and direction of the pass and the quality and creativity of the runs. Communication including calling for the ball and what areas are open such as calling “switch” are critical.

Set Up
In a 20x 20 grid, there are 2 teams of players.   There is 3 players from each team in the grid forming a 3v3 situation.  There are 2 players (1 from each team on the outside of the grid).   The pairs on the outside are not allowed to enter the grid but are options for maintaining possession for the 3v3.

The 3v3 begins with normal possession games.   The outside players can be options to maintain possession.   The outside players are restricted to 2 touch and the opposing team member on the outside can only intercept the pass to the outside.  Once the outside player touches it – no pressure from the outside players.  The focus is to anticipate and intercept passing lanes not 1v1 defending.  This exercise continues for 3 minutes before rotation of the 3v3 inside players.

The next iteration is for the outside players to be able to play each other with more active defending on the outside.  Again only passes can be intercepted – there is not challenges on the ball in possession.  However a bad touch that results in the ball not in control can be taken by the other team.  See diagram 2.

Coaching Points
• Change the middle 3 players frequently.  Every 3 minutes or so
• Passes must be weighted properly and sent to the correct foot of the receiver
• Remind players of in game situations where this is valuable and how the decisions of your teammates affects your decisions and options.
• Add touch restrictions – 2, 1 touch
• Add more defensive pressure by allowing 1v1 attacks on the outside
• Points awarded for consecutive passes or playing a certain outside player.

By David Johnson

David Johnson has been a high school coach for more than 20 years.

Heads Up Game

By Steven Smith

Area Size: 40 X 35 Grid

Teams:  Everyone on the team in groups of two

Time: 10-12 minutes

Objective:  Increase passing skills in teams of all developmental levels

This warm up activity can take away the boredom that often comes with warming up. It is a gradual progression of passing and receiving with partners that turns into a fairly intense and fun way of getting your athletes to focus and be fully prepared to go hard once you hit the main training phase.

Set Up
A large grid of 40 X 35 is constructed for players to pass and receive with their partner. Every player finds a partner to pass and receive with inside of the grid.

This activity is a three step progression of intensity.

The activity begins with each set of partners having a ball. The ball is passed and received only with their own partner. After intervals of passing and receiving with intervals of stretching and range of motion activities the intensity is increased by inserting a set of rabbits (defenders who chase down ball). The rabbits simply attempt to knock the ball of the partner passers out of the grid to eliminate the partners.

The activity momentum increases with the number of defenders that the coach chooses to insert into the grid.

The final progression is where the intensity reaches it’s peak. Two sets of partners give up their balls and are joined together by holding onto a towel. The defenders with the towel must work together to tag a player without the ball. This means that the partners who are passing and receiving must pay attention to the defenders with the towel and when their partner is being chased they must get the ball to their partner. Once a player has the ball on their foot they cannot be tagged. If a player is chased out of bounds (grid) then they have been tagged. Once tagged the chasers drop their towel and the tagged player picks up the towel and his partner joins him or her to become the taggers. The former taggers become passers and receivers. It is a continuous game until the coach ends the activity.


Goalkeepers can be introduced into the game with the restriction that they pass and receive using their hands to catch.

By Steve Smith
Steve Smith has been a men’s college coach that holds an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and a Doctorate in Physical Education.