Soccer Passing

Improving Your Team’s Soccer Game Speed

One of our readers wanted to know how to improve his team’s game speed…

The most important thing for your players to learn when it comes to increasing game speed is to have an idea of what their next move will be before they get the ball. Using formations with a lot of triangles can help because the player with the ball should always have two options to pass. If the first option is blocked she can go to the second one. However, it takes a bit of maturity from the players to get to this stage.

One thing we have seen work well in getting a team to improve speed is to give them a time limit, rather than a touch limit, in possession drills and scrimmages. One U-10 travel team, several years ago, had struggled with the same issue, so whenever we did any possession drills or scrimmages they had a 4-second limit.

As soon as a player would receive a ball, we would count out loud (1,2,3,4)… By the time we got to 4, if the player had not passed the ball, the possession would go to the other team. As the drill/game progressed, we would fade out the count and see if the game speed improved. If so, we would stop counting and just let them play. But if not, we would continue to count out loud and enforce the turnovers.

You can also ask the players to watch a professional soccer game on TV and count to 4 every time a player touches the ball to see for themselves that it is an extremely rare exception that a player holds on to the ball for more than 3 seconds.

Or… For a bit of fun and real effect, you can play or re-create this clip form the movie “Goal! The Dream Begins.” which is one of the best explanations of passing we have seen. Enjoy…



Photo credit: TheNickster via / CC BY-SA

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