Passing accuracy is an important skill in soccer. Every player should be looking to improve the consistency and range of their passing. Beginners and professional players can use technical drills, and possession-based practices to improve passing accuracy. This essential skill helps players to make quicker decisions, retain possession of the ball and create scoring opportunities for others.
A range of training drills will help to develop passing accuracy and allow players to become more consistent passers. The quality of your passing can be the difference between winning and losing games. The ability to control the ball accurately, and play a pass with the right speed and weight is often an underrated quality. This article will provide some simple drills designed to improve passing accuracy.
What is Passing Accuracy
Passing accuracy measures the player’s ability to complete passes to teammates. You can figure out player passing accuracy by dividing the total number of passes a player makes by the number of passes a player attempts. If a player completed 90 passes out of 100 passing attempts, their passing accuracy would be 90%. Typically the best midfielders who play champions league football have a passing accuracy above 85%.
Using stats to help create benchmarks for players is a good way to highlight the playing level and standards that young players need to achieve and exceed. If a player wishes to become professional then passing accuracies above 80% are usually the norm. This type of information can be used to motivate players. Keep them on task and drive standards in training and games.
You can find champions league passing stats for players HERE This site provides information about different players across Europe who have good passing accuracy stats and have regularly played champions league football. Coaches can use this detail to help set the scene for practices and make points about high standards of performance.
Types of Pass to Master
There are many different types of passes. Each type of pass has a different purpose and is a tool available to use when players require it. If a player can master a variety of different types of passes they will develop their overall range of passing and become a more rounded player.
- Short passes are the standard type of pass that players need to master. Short passing can help players to progress the ball and combine in a relatively safe and efficient way.
- First-time passes are more difficult passes to play. Used to quicken up play, make it harder for defenders to win the ball, and take opponents out of the game. First-time passes need to be played at speed this means that passing accuracy can be sacrificed.
- Forward passing helps a team move upfield quickly. The aim of forward passes is to take opponents out of the game and make it hard for them to get back into position. This type of pass is more difficult to play because you are playing toward the opponent’s goal. Therefore the pitch can become more congested.
- Long passing is a difficult type of pass that players should practice. They usually require the ball to leave the floor and are excellent for switching play or sending players through on goal over the top of a defense
Additional Technical Skills
Receiving skills when facing forward, with back to play, and from the sides are essential contributors to improving passing accuracy. Players need to use their touches to eliminate pressure and keep the ball away from defenders. Every passing drill allows players to hone and develop this skill set. HERE is an article I wrote about midfielders and receiving skills.
The movement to receive the ball and lose a marker is another skill that players need to practice regularly. Young players will often stand still and wait for the ball to come to them. movements off their markers are very beneficial. They change the angle for a pass, create space and, give the receiver more time on the ball. If you want to read more about movements to receive the ball then click HERE.
This article ranks the 10 best passers in world football based on Champions league statistics. The website opens in a new tab and provides a nice variety of detail about different players across Europe. HERE.
Drills That Improve Passing Accuracy
The Wall Passing Drill
Drill Organisation: Set up four cones as shown. Two outer cones and two inner cones. Offset the inside cones to create angles for the players to play wall passes. The inside players are fixed in position and act as wall pass players. They must hold this position until they are rotated by the coach.
How the drill works: The player with the ball plays a wall pass with the nearest inner player. This player returns the pass. The ball is then played to the top of the practice and a second wall pass is played. The ball is then returned to the opposite side of the practice where the drill resets and starts over (See Video)
Key Points: Wall passing requires slick accurate passing so each player should aim to leave the ball playable for the receiver. The speed of the passing should be quick as wall passing is designed to take defenders out of the game.
Drill 2: Zig Zag for Passing Accuracy
Drill Set Up: A zig-zag pattern of cones is set up and a player is positioned on each cone. The players use short passes to Zig Zag through the pattern.
Run the Drill: Players pass and follow down the Zig Zag pattern until they reach the end. Once the ball reaches the end of the pattern the player in possession of the ball must run it back to the beginning, this will reset the drill.
Coaching Points: The sideways/open body position will be needed to improve the passing accuracy of this drill. The use of both feet will also improve the speed and tempo of the drill. The players should be encouraged to use their back foot to receive the ball and their front foot to play the pass.
The Passing Square
Set-Up: Set up a square of cones with three different colors in each corner of the square (See pictures) the colors in each corner act as guides for the player’s movements before receiving the ball.
How the drill works: The player with the ball passes it to the next player around the square shape. The receiver of the pass can use any of the following movements before receiving the ball. Each movement corresponds with a passing pattern.
- The low-to-high movement is the basic pass around the perimeter of the square (After the pass the players move around to the next cone in opposite direction to the ball)
- The high-to-low movement is a setback to the original passer to play across to the next receiver (Players follow the pass to the next cone)
- The in-to-out movement is a wall pass around the cone (Players follow the pass to the next cone)
High to Low Movement
Progress the Drill: This pattern requires slick passing and immediate support. The passer must show quickly to the receiver and the receiver must use an accurate set to leave the ball playable for the next receiver.
In to Out Pattern for Passing Accuracy
Progress the drill: The final progression is a wall pass around the triangle of cones. The receiver starts on the red cone and pops out beyond the blue cone to receive the ball. The wall pass is played then the players move around to the next cone.
Passing accuracy is a skill worth mastering. Players who have the intention to play at the highest level of the game need to be able to keep the ball consistently. It is not uncommon for Champions league midfielders to reach 90% passing accuracy within a game. Young players can use this as inspiration and coaches can use this to set standards. More accurate passing leads to better possession and more chances to score goals.
First touch and movement were two additional skills that players need to master alongside passing accuracy. Using these additional skills will help to improve the quality of play and make it harder for defenders to read the player’s intentions. First-time passing, short passing and forward passing are the main priority of the drills provided in this article.
Including these drills in your training routines can help to develop the passing accuracy of a group. Encourage players to practice with as much purpose and intensity as possible. With consistent practice and hard work, you can become a more accurate and effective passer on the field.
What is the average passing accuracy in soccer? The average passing accuracy in soccer is around 80%. So out of every 10 passes a player completes, 8 of them get to their destination.
Who has the highest passing accuracy in soccer? Players who have the highest passing accuracy in soccer are usually midfielders or ball-playing defenders who are responsible for distributing the ball to their teammates. Some of the players with the highest passing accuracy in recent years include Toni Kroos, Xavi Hernandez, and Sergio Busquets.
Find links to articles on this site related to passing:
- Passing Drills for Beginners: Improve Your Skills Quickly
- Mastering Soccer Passing Patterns: A Comprehensive Guide
- Soccer: Triangle passing drills that you must try