Soccer Passing and Receiving Drill

It’s often the most simple drills that are the best. This simple passing and receiving square is perfect for juniors when they’re working on skills, and it’s also a great warm-up for any age.

Equipment needed:

  • One soccer ball
  • Four cones

Passing & receiving drill set-up:

  • Set out a square approx 15 x 15 yards
  • Start with a player on each side of the square and one in the centre (5 players in total)
  • Two of the players on the outside of the circle have balls

Passing & receiving drill execution:

  • The player in the centre shows that they want to receive the ball from one of the players on the outside
  • The player on the outside plays the ball into the centre player, who must control it and pass it to an outside player without a ball (not the one who has just made the pass)
  • Once the centre player has made their pass, they must immediately receive a pass from another outside player and make another pass
  • The drill runs for 1–2 minutes; then a different player goes in the centre until all players have had a chance

Coaching Tips

When coaching this drill, there are a few things to look for.

  • This drill focuses on the passing and receiving of the player in the middle
  • Try to keep the drill at a high tempo
  • The player in the middle should dictate who plays the ball to them by showing that they want the ball using an open body position and demanding the ball
  • Encourage players on the outside to play passes in at pace to test the first touch of the middle player
  • The middle player should always be on their toes and not flat-footed
  • Encourage the centre player to turn on the ball with their first touch so that they open up the playing space and can see all of the other outside players
  • Focus on the weight and accuracy of passes (from all players)
  • Encourage no more than two touches from the centre player where possible
  • Encourage the use of both feet from the centre and outside players


Put two players in the middle, and keep four on the outside


  • Make the area bigger to work on long passes and vary the type of passes that are being played into the centre player
  • Add a third ball, so there is only ever one free player on the outside (who the centre player must find)