Soccer Short Passing Drill: The Square – Soccer Coach Theory

Soccer Coach Theory Team

Equipment needed:

  • 1 soccer ball
  • 4 cones

The short passing drill set-up:

  • Mark out a square approximately 12 by 12 yards
  • 4 players participate, each stands in a corner just outside a cone
  • Any of the 4 players can start with the ball

Soccer short passing drill: the square set-up

Short passing drill execution:

  • Players must pass the ball from player to player around the outside of the square focusing on controlling the ball and the quality of the pass
  • The aim is for the ball to stay on the outside of the square and not hit the cones
  • The drill can continue for a few minutes then switch direction

Soccer short passing drill: the square execution

Coaching tips:

  • When the ball is travelling in a clockwise direction, players should use the left foot only, then when the ball travels counter-clockwise they should use the right
  • Players to make a small sharp movement of a couple of yards back from the cone in order to receive the ball on their inside foot and create a passing angle to the next player – they should time this movement with the previous player receiving the ball (they can imagine their cone is an opposition player)
  • Focus on the quality of the first touch
  • Encourage good weight and accuracy of passes


  • Limit of 2 touches per player
  • Make square bigger for longer passes


  • Players can follow their pass to add a fitness element (with the last player dribbling to the empty cone each time the ball goes round the square)
  • Introduce a second ball so two balls are circulating the square at the same time (you may need to make the square into a pentagon and add a 5th player)

Soccer short passing drill: the square variation