Angled Approach Soccer Drill

Field size: 10 by 10 yards

Number of players: full team; split up into pairs

Age range: 10-12

Description: Two players, one player at the corner and one player at the end line of the square – this player has a ball.  Player at the corner makes an angled run into the middle to receive a pass and lays the ball off before running to the other corner and then back to the middle to receive a pass from the player at the end line.

Player who is working jogs to each corner and then sprints back to receive a pass from the server at the end line. Player checks back to the ball and passes the ball with the right and then left foot. Switch after each player has done five passes with each foot – a total of ten passes.

Focus of this soccer drill is the change of pace when checking back to a receive a pass and then keeping the ankle locked to make a crisp pass with the inside of each foot. Players should also square their hips to the server when making the return pass, this way you’re less likely to miss hit the ball and have it go out of bounds.

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

80% of the time players will receive the ball with back to pressure. If a player can work to master this moment, they will have a huge advantage over other players.

Players should look to:

Post up against a defender to check back
Play on a defender’s blind side
Check/Double check
Check back at an angle on the half turn with arm out to feel for pressure/protect the ball if it comes
Peek over their shoulders on the way back to the ball ideally 3 times. As they leave the space, half way and just before they receive so they know the picture behind them and their own intentions before their first touch

Three ways to receive:

1. Lax defender: open up body and take first touch on back foot
2. Over-committed defender: roll them with first touch or dummy
3. Good defender: receive on half turn with front foot to protect the ball. Wait for defender to overcommit and roll/produce skill to turn and penetrate or play back in plane of vision