Pairs Back Heel Practice

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Field size: 40 yards by 30 yards

Number of players: full team in pairs

Age range: 10-12

Description: Players partner up and dribble in a square and work on a regular back heel passes and then the cross back heel pass – where the player steps over the ball to back heel the ball with the foot they’re not dribbling with, so they step across their body to heel the ball. 

Have the players who are behind the player and going to receive the ball call out, yelling that they’re open or give a quiet little shout for the ball so a defender doesn’t hear it. 

After a player makes a heel pass he or she isn’t done, they should turn and look for a pass back just in case – players should always be in tune to the game and available for the next pass. 

Fitness plays a big part in this too, when players are tired they lose focus and their sharpness. Even in a drill like this, which seems so simple, you want your players to be sharp.  The back heel pass, when done correctly, and at the right moment, is a very useful pass. Especially when you can surprise your opponents.

However, it’s not something that should be done say in the middle of the field, where your team can lose the ball easily and suffer a counter attacked.  Rather, the back heel is for those sublime type moments when everything comes together in the attacking third. 

It’s important though to get players used to using all parts of their feet and be confident using a back heel pass when the moment is right.  As a coach, you don’t want player to be afraid to try something, and yet you still want them to be aware of the consequences of making a risky pass in certain parts of the field.

Check out these back heel passes and goals:

Equipment needed: Cones and practice vests.

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