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Off the ball movement

Exercise Description:

Area: 30x20 with two groups at opposite ends and two back-to-back players in the middle. One ball starts in each group.

1. Option #1 – The middle player ‘checks’ for the ball. The player passes the ball to the middle player and overlaps the mannequin. The middle player receives the ball on the back foot and passes it to the overlapping player.

2. The overlapping player now plays a diagonal pass to the next player in the opposite group and follows the pass. The passing sequence continues.

3. Switch the middle players.

Option #2 Variation: Place a player in the gate at each end-line. The ball is played to the middle player, who then plays it long to the far player standing between the cones. That player now plays the ball to the overlapping player, who now passes the ball diagonally. The player in the gate moves to the starting position and is replaced by the player that passed the ball.

Work on both sides of the area.

Coaching points: Quality of pass, accuracy, weight, timing. Speed of movement off the ball. Communication. Body shape and first touch.

Intended outcome:

  • To encourage movement off the ball.

  • Improve timing of passes and runs.

  • Receiving the ball when moving will help in-game situations.

  • Improve technical ability


You could add a goalkeeper at each end and turn it into a shooting session.

Possible Performance Problems:

Players in the middle do not check on the ball and receive the ball on the back foot.

The pass into space for the running player is of poor quality. The timing is off, or the accuracy and weight are wrong.

The diagonal ball to the next starting player is played behind them and not in front.

Be ready to focus - Make decisions

Visualize playing in a game.

Accept mistakes - Find solutions


Coach your teammates


Applaud good play

Be ready to pass or receive the ball


Be willing to move after the pass

Move at game speed

Quality of the pass and first touch

Running off the ball

Body shape

Timing of pass and run

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