Passing Drills for Beginners: Improve Your Skills Quickly

If you’re new to soccer or want to improve your passing game, check out our beginner-friendly passing drills. We have everything you need to get started!

passing drills for soccer

If you’re new to soccer, one of the most essential skills to master is passing. Good first touch and passing can help you control the ball, create scoring opportunities, and win games. But where do you start? What passing drills can you use to improve your skills quickly? This article will explore simple but effective passing drills for beginners and give you the tips you need to become a better passer.

Improve fast with these passing drills for beginners. Learn how to control the ball and create scoring opportunities with these soccer drills. Read on for more tips on getting started.

Introduction: Skills You Must Improve

Passing is one of the most important skills in soccer. It’s how you move the ball around the field, create scoring opportunities, and control the game. As a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to passing drills for beginners. At a basic level, the first place to start is your first touch. This aspect of the game will help players to use their touch to give them time on the ball.

TIP: Players can improve their first touch using ball and wall drills. This simply involves finding a wall to strike the ball off and when it comes back to you, experiment with your ball controlling using different, touch directions and various parts of the foot. You can use your touch to travel forwards, other times you may use it to turn. The insides and the outsides of the foot are the main surfaces to use in order to master your first touch.

Accuracy is the next aspect of becoming a better passer. Your pass needs to go where you want it to go, the accuracy of your pass determines this. Players must become better at scanning ahead if they wish to improve passing accuracy. Glancing up before the ball arrives gives the player time to observe the type of pass needed. It provides the passer with the detail they need to select the type of pass they want to play.

passing drills for beginners

Choices to Make

The basic choices a player has. Does the receiver want the ball into feet or space? Does the receiver of the pass need the ball along the floor or in the air? Once a decision has been made the passer needs to play an accurate pass. The inside of the foot offers the best surface for accuracy, over short distances. Encourage players to point their standing foot in the direction of the pass, then kick through the center of the ball. Players should also lift their arms up to help them maintain balance.

If a pass over a greater distance is required then a different surface of the foot might be needed. The laces offer more power on the pass. The trade-off of using the laces is that it is a harder skill to master and will take time to become accurate with this part of the foot. A player can adjust their body position if they want to play a ball in the air. They should be encouraged to lean back as they strike underneath the ball. They should really strike through the ball, and again lift their arms up to maintain balance.

TIP: Ball striking drills are a great way to improve longer passing. Players can pair up, then make a small 5 by 5 square using cones. Each player stands in a square. The distance between the squares is up to the players. Players then practice striking the ball at each other using the laces. Each time a pass is received in the square they get a point. They can play different rounds using different types of passes.

A final consideration

Ball speed is the final aspect of passing soccer players should focus on when learning to pass. Under-hit passes will get intercepted by defenders and over-hit passes will run away from the receiver. The weight of a pass is vital. The passer’s aim when passing is to strike the ball using a ball speed that leaves the ball playable for the next receiver. In soccer, this is known as pass appreciation. Players with a good pass appreciation are able to select the correct speed and weight of passes.

Two-footed players who can pass and receive using both feet are hard to come by. If you are a beginner to soccer, then I would recommend that from the offset whatever you practice on one foot, you should aim to practice on the other. If you can master your touch, accuracy, and ball speed using a variety of passes, the game will become much easier. The ability to use both feet will open up different options and make it difficult for the defender to read your intentions.

Tips for Improving Your Passing Skills

Here are a few additional tips to improve your passing skills:

  • Focus on technique: Point the standing foot where you want the ball to go, lock the ankle, and use the inside of the foot for short passes. Holding out the arms helps to maintain balance.
  • Practice: The only way to improve is to set time aside to work on your soccer skills. Use the drills provided below to help hone your skills.
  • Communication: Use verbal and nonverbal cues to communicate with your teammates. By shouting out to your teammates, you can let them know when to expect a pass. Nonverbal cues such as body language and eye contact are helpful for conveying information to your teammates.
  • Disguise: As your communication improves try to practice passing the ball but hide your intent when you pass. This makes it harder for defenders to read you. As you advance try to work on disguised passing. Front foot passing is a good type of disguised pass you could master.

3 Passing Drills for Beginners

Basic Passing Drill

How the drill works

Create a line of four players and lay out the cones in a straight line. Players pass and follow the ball around in the direction shown. The receiver of the pass must take their first touch through the gap between the red and black cones. Use the drill to work on passing accuracy, effective use of the first touch, and quick support movement.

Passing drills for beginners

Easy Progressions:

Bounce pass: The receiver of pass one sets the ball back to the player that passed them the ball. This player passes the ball onto the run of the second player. The pass must be played between the black cones. (See the image below). The bounce pass is only played in one direction.

soccer passing drill

Passing Drill for Beginners: With Traffic

Drill Organization: This drill looks complex but it is very simple. The movement of the players in the middle changes the angle of the pass for the players on the outside. The greens are free to roam in the middle area and they pass to each other as they see fit. The reds have a ball and they pass across the area to the opposite red. The reds stay on their side when they pass the ball to their team. The blacks must pass the ball across the middle area to each other but they must join the back of the opposite line.

beginner passing soccer

Progression: Rotate the players between the different areas of the drill until they have experienced each activity. Try to ensure the players pass the ball with the correct ball speed and weight. Underhit passes will not get to their destination and gaps to pass through will disappear quickly.

Passing with Pressure for Beginners.

Set Up: Set up a playing area usually a 20 by 20 area. Inside the areas, 3 green players have a ball and their job is to get in the way of the passes that the reds are trying to make. The reds have one ball between them and their job is to accumulate a set number of passes to score a goal. Each time the reds hit their passing target they get a goal. Each time the greens get a touch or force an error they knock a point off the reds.

Passing with Pressure

Progression: Add a timer and increase the accumulated passes so how quickly can a team make 50 passes? Rotate the players and see which team can achieve the passing target the quickest.

In Summary

passing soccer drills

This article has presented some key tips to help beginners in soccer, improve their passing skills. The key components of passing along with the key messages have been presented. Remember players who master passing are able to create more scoring chances and keep the ball. If you are trying to help a total beginner then unopposed activities such as hitting a ball off the wall or passing in pairs can be a valuable asset to help players improve.

When trying to master any skill, repetition is vital. As coaches, it is important to remind the players to use the key messages provided in this article. Their touch can buy them time on the ball, and the speed of a pass can make the ball harder to intercept. Finally, accurate passing into feet or space helps to leave the ball playable for the receiver.

The drills, tips, and key messages in the article will support the development of players. They help to provide both structured repetitive activities along with a little bit of chaos that can often manifest in game situations. Adapt the drills to suit the age and ability of the players.

Related Content

Find below some links to related content on this site and some others.

  • HERE is a post I wrote about triangle passing drills. Some easy-to-follow drills where each one advances in difficulty.
  • This is another post about passing patterns, there are some video animations to support the content. It covers passing patterns in various parts of the soccer field. HERE.
  • This site shows some nice videos of passing drills for beginners. There is also some detail about passing, the link to the post can be found HERE
  • These easy-to-follow drills are suitable for a variety of ages. They provide some content about different types of passes over various distances. HERE.

Frequent Questions

Should you teach dribbling or passing first in soccer?

In short, mastering the dribble should be the first step to learning to master the ball. Young players should practice dribbling as much as they can, using different parts of the foot. Coaches need to avoid yelling at young players to pass the ball. Instead, they should try to teach them the risk-reward of dribbling in certain areas of the pitch.

What is the coaching point for passing?

Put your non-kicking foot next to the ball and aim it in the desired direction. Aim for the center of the ball when you strike. Maintain eye contact with the ball. Open up to receive the pass and make sure their first touch is in the desired passing direction.

What is the most important pass in soccer?

The most fundamental pass in soccer is known as the “push” pass or “inside of the foot” pass. The goal of passing is to quickly move the ball between teammates to keep it away from opponents and, ultimately, to place it in a position for a goal shot.