Grassroots Coaching


A skill competition that players can facilitate and learn from for themselves.




  • Two players, one ball.
  • Lay out 9 cones in a square, as per the graphic in the PDF below.
  • The distance between the cones can be adjusted to suit the age and ability of the players and can be anything from 5 – 20 meters between cones.
  • The objective of the competition is for one player to make a forward run from the inside of the square, in a clockwise fashion, to receive a forward pass from their team mate.
  • The pass should be in front of the cone the player is running round.
  • When they receive the pass, they should control and or dribble the ball back into the inside of the square.
  • The player who has made the pass, should make a forward run around the next cone, to receive a forward pass.
  • The competition is repeated around all the cones until the players return to the cone they first started from.
  • The players should look to complete the circuit, without making a mistake and in the quickest possible time.



  • Good communication between the players, both verbally and with hand and body gestures
  • Players to play with their head up and be aware of each other
  • Well timed forward runs
  • Accurate, well timed and weighted passes
  • Good first touch back inside the square from the receiving player



  • Change direction
  • Repeat two circuits
  • Make the area bigger or smaller to encourage different passes and runs
  • Use the “wrong” foot
  • Condition to three touches


This competition can easily be adjusted to use more players. By putting the players in pairs, with a ball between them and starting each pair on a different cone, the competition becomes much more difficult. Now the players have to really play with their heads up, be aware of other players and time their runs and passes much more accurately.

Forward passing for a forward runner – Printable PDF

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