Grassroots Coaching

A session to improve forward passing

A session to improve players to receive the ball, support each other and to look to be positive and pass the ball forward


  •  Mark out an overall area of 35 x 15 yards, split into 3 – 15 x 15 yard grids.
  • The area can be adjusted to suit the age and ability of the players.
  • There are a total of 12 players, although the number can be adjusted to suit the size of the squad.
  • To start the session, position 3 attacking players in either end grid and 3 in the middle grid.
  • There are 3 defenders, one placed in each grid.
  • The attacking players and defending players must stay in their grids.
  • The objective of the practice is for the attacking players to pass from the end grid, through the middle grid, to the opposite end grid and then back again through the middle grid, without the defenders gaining possession.

Start the practice in one of the end grids. The attacking players should be encouraged to look to receive the ball and pass forward whenever possible. If this isn’t possible, then they should look to support the player on the ball, keep possession until there is an opportunity to pass the ball forward.


  • Players should look to receive the ball so that the first option is to try and pass forward to the next grid.
  • Play with the head up to assess defenders position and to assess passing options
  • Timing, weight and accuracy of pass
  • Decisions on first time forward passes, control and pass or whether to pass backwards or square to keep possession, before then passing forward
  • Support for the passer to provide passing options, both from players in their own grid area and players in the next grid area
  • Communication between players.



  • Change defenders frequently
  • Challenge the attackers to successfully complete the most number rotations, via the middle grid, without the defenders gaining possession
  • Condition the attackers to a maximum of two touches
  • Allow the defenders and attackers to go where they want in the playing area, but ensure one attacking player always remains in each of the grids. is a website dedicated to helping Football Coaches of all levels around the world to improve and advance their coaching skills. For more information and access to our library of 100’s of 4D fully interactive coaching drills please visit the website.

Game to encourage and develop forward passing – Printable PDF

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