Grassroots Coaching

Coach early through balls for strikers

Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is one of the best strikers in the Premier League at running into space for longer passes. This football coaching session would have been perfect to improve his pace, desire and determination to make the best of any long passes. But, this football coaching session would have also worked on his team mates improving their technique and vision to make a long pass for him to run onto or compete for.

To make effective long and accurate passes, players have to initially create space, so that the eventual passer has time to get their head up to make the long pass. Then the passer has to select the correct technique, based on what they see – i.e. a long, lofted pass into space: A driven pass with pace or a curled pass that gets round defenders.

Like all football coaching sessions, the more players have the opportunity to practice game related techniques and skills, the better they will become.

The purpose of this football coaching session is for the players in one of the end grids to combine together and make a long pass to the opposite end group, missing the gate keeper defender in the middle of the pitch. Once the group at the opposite end have the ball, they repeat the practice

Coach early through balls


  • Use cones to mark out area – size of the area suitable for the age, ability and number of players
  • Mark out area into 3 separate grids
  • Supply of balls
  • Bibs


  • Play 3 v 1 or 4 v 2 in each end grid, attackers must have at least 2 passes, then make a long pass to opposite group.
  • When the ball is received by the opposite group, repeat practice.
  • Defenders start on the side of grid and can only come into the grid when ball is in the grid and controlled.
  • Gate Keeper – Player in the middle must stay in the middle, and can intercept the ball
  • Rotate teams regularly

Football Coaching  Session Tips

  • Pass and move to create space and the opportunity for the long pass
  • Be positive when the chance to make a long pass presents itself
  • Ball out of the feet and head up, prior to making the pass, so that the players has a “passing picture”
  • Use the relevant and best passing technique – i.e. a long, lofted pass over the gate keeper: A driven pass with pace or a curled pass that gets round the gate keeper.
  • Receiving group at the opposite end to be alert and on their toes ready to receive the pass.


  • How many successful long passes can be completed  without the defenders or the gate keeper winning or intercepting the ball?


  • Initially condition the defenders to be semi passive to ensure the practice works.
  • Encourage the use of both feet.
  • Progress to bigger area and play 4 v 2 and two gate keepers in the middle


Posted in
Attacking Sessions UEFA B