Under 12 Playing out from the back

Description: Session to develop understanding of playing out from the back. Session should focus on passing and receiving technique and positioning in and out of possession.

Coaching Points

  • Receiving to play forward – Body Shape (half turn), Scanning, spacial awareness
  • Positioning for kickouts – Use width, spread out
  • Positioning when out of possession – Stay compact, until ball in in keepers hands, then spread out
  • Movement to support

Warm up – Receiving on the half turn

Receiving on the Half Turn Technical Practice
Receiving on the Half Turn Technical Practice

Description: Players in groups of 6-8, split up into two even groups facing each other. To begin, simply take a touch to control and pass to opposite player then follow your pass to join the opposite group.

Work for 3 minutes to allow players to warm up. Can add in dynamic stretching by jogging around the cone to your immediate left. Progress to 1 touch when players are comfortable.


  • 1 player starts in middle, receives on half turn and passes to opposite group, always follow your pass. There should always be one player in the middle
  • 1-2 pass with end player who passes to middle player, receives on the half turn and repeats


Opposed Practice – Playing out from the back

Playing out from the back technical practice
Playing out from the back technical practice

Playing area: 35mx60m

Description: 7 (plus goalkeeper) v 4 in the main area with 2 target players. Play always starts from the goal keeper, blue’s must spread out and work on their shape for goal kicks. Blue’s aim to get the ball into one of the target players to score a point, target player then switches to the other target who plays back to goal keeper.

If red’s gain possession they must aim to score into large goal.


  • Number of passes before scoring

Link to video

Original session from thecoachingmanual.com

SSG – Playing out from the back

Playing out from the back Small Sided Game
Playing out from the back Small Sided Game

Playing area: 35mx60m

Description: Play now switches around and the blue team attack the large goal.

7v6 (plus goalkeeper) game in the main area in favour of the blues, play starts with the blue server (or coach depending on numbers). Blue’s must play from the server to create goal scoring opportunities.

Blue’s can play back to server to keep possession. If the red’s regain possession then they must aim to score in either of the small target goals.

Throw-ins in play, play restarts from the server.


  • Limit touches
  • Number of passes before scoring

Link to video

Original session from thecoachingmanual.com

Free Play – 8v8

Free Play - 8v8
Free Play – 8v8

Under 12 Passing and Attacking Session


Session to develop passing and receiving technique. We then introduce players to different 4v4 conditioned games where they have to solve different problems.

Coaching Points:

  • Short passing and receiving
  • Patience in possession
  • Penetration in attack
  • Forward runs, runs into space

Warmup – Technical (Passing) (20mins)

Passing Warm up

Description: Three variations of short passing, slowly lifting the tempo as the warm up goes on. Players should work on developing passing and receive technique, ideally working with 1 or 2 touches maximum.

SSG – Playing against a high line (20mins)

SSG - High Line

Description: This game mimics playing against a team that defends high up the pitch, the team in possession must look to beat the offside trap and either drive into the attacking third or receive a well timed pass.

Once the attacker breaks into the end zone only 1 defender can follow in to defend. As the players get used to the drill add more pressure or regress as required.


  • Add more pressure
  • Remove offside – now all attacking players must be over half way line to score. Helps to develop sense of when to move up the pitch as a unit
  • Add strikers into the end zones, they must receive the ball with their backs to goal and look to set a midfielder for a shot from distance. This can be useful when the attacker is being tightly marked


  • Play starts from Goal Keeper who must play into central zone, you can retain possession by going back to keeper unopposed
  • If ball goes out of middle zone simply kick in rather than throw, if ball goes out in either end zone it is goal keepers ball, no corners
  • If you score you keep possession but start from your keeper

Free Play (20mins)

Free Play - 8v8

Short passing and possession

Session Focus: Short passing and receiving

Develop short passing and receiving technique.

Warmup – Diamond Passing

Diamond Passing drill

Play starts with one player on each of the orange cones, all other players line up on blue cone.

First player must play anti-clockwise to the player on the next cone and follow his pass. This is repeated until the final cone where this player will dribble to the back of the line.

To progress, go clockwise and work on receiving and passing with the opposite foot.

Focus on good passing technique with push pass, movement to receive, receiving on the back foot to play forward and communication.


Diamond Passing Progression

Quick passing combinations – Server plays a 1-2 with next player then plays a long pass to the opposite player who plays a short pass to the final player. Final player dribbles back to start.

Short, quick passes then a long pass. How can this be related to a game? Quick combinations to play out from the back.

Rondos – 3v1


Add four large cones around the diamond from previous activity and lift diamond cones.

Start with 3 players in the square with other players on blue cone, first player runs in and acts as defender. Coach calls switch every 30-40 seconds to change the defender while the three players try to keep possession.

SSG – Creating space

Creating Space SSG

Video: http://www.thecoachingmanual.com/soccer/drills/creating-space-small-sided-game-194

Players split into two teams with one goal keeper and a neutral overload player.

To begin play 3v3 with rest of players outside the grid waiting to be substituted in or have two activities going.

Ball is played out by goalkeeper to his team who must score in one of the target goals. If the defending team win the ball they can score in main goal.

Encourage starting team to keep possession using extra player and goal keeper.

Substitute players every 2/3 times and swap roles after 8-10mins.

Coaching points:
– Passing technique
– Movement to create space for goal keeper
– Communication
– Quick combinations

Free play – 7v7

Short and long passing session

  • Session Topic: This session focuses on short and long passing technique. The session will also cover receiving technique, possession and using width in attack.
  • Age: Under 10 – Under 12

Warm-up (8mins)

To begin the session have players passing in pairs, moving around a set playing area (Size dependent on numbers). Begin with 2 yard pass and ask players to increase distance as they get more comfortable. Progress by asking players to move around the area passing with other partners.

Conclude by players getting into groups of four on the final whistle.

Technique (10mins)

Long passing football warmup
Players work in groups of four, two from each group will start in opposite end zones 10-20 yards apart. With one ball between each four players will work on various long passing techniques.

Play starts with one players passing into the opposite end zone, the player who receives will play a pass to his partner who sets him up for a long pass back. He will then become the receiving player the next passing.

Begin with a driven instep pass and progress:

  • Chipped pass
  • Curled pass – Inside and outside of foot
  • Driven pass with laces
  • Floated pass

5v2 Possession (15mins)

Players split into three equal teams, two teams take up the opposite end zones with the other teams starting as defenders in the middle small square.

When the coach plays the ball into one end zone team they must attempt to keep possession for 3/5 passes before playing a long pass into the opposite end zone. Two defenders from middle square will attempt to win the ball back. If they intercept the ball then the phase of play has finished and the coach plays a new ball into the opposite group.

Remember: When the short pass target is complete the team in possession must still make a successful long pass. It could be curled around the side, driven or floated over the top. If the center square players intercept that is a point!

Once the defenders intercept 5 balls they will swap out with one of the end zone teams.


  • Increase numbers of passes required
  • Max number of touches

SSG – Three Goals (12mins)

Two teams play on a 35-30 (approx) pitch with large goals, goal keepers and two small target goals per team. Behind each target goal must be a target player.

Team can score normally into large goal and receive 1 goal, if they can score into a target goal on the wing they will receive 2 goals or if they can switch the play and score in the opposite target goal they receive 5 goals.

Focus of activity is for players for spread out, make good quick short passes and look to switch the play if there is space.

Free play (remaining time)

Finishing Session – Volleys

Session Focus: This session focuses on Passing, Receiving and Finishing Technique using Volleys.

Age group: U11


  • Players: 5-10 (Work with two groups if more)
  • Equipment: Balls and Cones
  • Duration: 15-20mins


Passing Square Warmup Drill

Play starts with player on the ball dribbling clockwise to the next cone and passing to the next player who repeats. Play for 2-3 minutes to allow players to adequately warm up. Focus on technique and understanding the activity before asking players to increase tempo.


  • Go anti-clockwise
  • Add stepover/skill whilst dribbling
  • Passing instead of dribbling
  • Passing Anti-clockwise
  • Pass, 1/2


Technique Part 1 – Volleys (Accuracy)

Youth Soccer Volley Technique Drill

Time: 10mins

Players split into two teams, each team has three balls set on top of cones 5 yards away with one player from each team behind the balls acting as a server.

The server throws to the person top of the que who must try to volley the ball and knock a ball of the cone. The server is responsible for retrieving the ball and only one ball per team.

Technique Part 2 – Volleys (Power)

Youth Soccer Volley Team Game

Time: 10mins

One team stands at right hand side of a large goal with no goalkeeper and the other team on the left side. First player form each team stands in front of the goals. Next player in line serves and striker must score with a volley and it has to hit the back of the net to count.

Side of foot or laces? Good technique, eyes on ball, knee over ball and strike through.


  • Headers to score – Focus on attacking the ball, don’t be scared of it. How does this apply to defensive header on a Saturday especially from set pieces?

SSG – Wide areas with header/volley bonus

Youth Soccer Small Sided Game - Passing, Possession and Finishing

Each team has two small goals to score in, players must attempt to switch play quickly to the opposite wing to exploit space.

No goalkeepers but players can score in the large nets with a volley or header to score. Scoring as follows:

  • Score in small goals = 1 goal
  • Score in large goals with header or volleys = 3 goals
  • Switch the player and score in opposite small goal within 10 seconds = 5 goals

Passing and receiving technique

Sessions using Coerver practices focused on Passing and Receiving technique.


Coerver - Passing and Receiving Warmup

Setup: 8×6 Area, three groups with one ball.

Description: Each team starts with one server who has a ball, all other team mates are on opposite of area in a line facing the server. Players take turns to receive a pass and return the ball to the server, once they have played a pass they join the back of their group. Change server every 60 seconds, can use hand signal for this to ensure players look up.

Change types of passing and receiving based on ability. Variations include:

  • 1 touch with instep of right foot, 1 touch with instep of left foot
  • Receive with left, pass with right
  • Receive with right, pass with left
  • Outside of right/left (change direction of ball) and pass with same foot.
  • Half volly
  • Thigh and volly(right/left)
  • Chest and volly
  • Head back
  • Control with head and volly

Competition: When you have worked through progressions and find a technique all groups are comfortable with put 60 seconds on clock and see how many complete passes each group can make. If ball goes outside their grid it does not count.



Coerver - Speed 4 (Turning + Finishing)

Setup: As with previous activity

Description: First person from each group stands on the receiver line, when the coach starts play the opposite player must make a pass to the receiver. They must then turn and dribble to the end of the three large cones before shooting into the open goal. The ball must not hit the ground before the net for the goal to count, the team who scores first wins a point.


  • Slalom through cones

Coaching Points:

  • How to receive – Half turn, let the ball run
  • Communication – Tell server where you want it
  • Finishing technique (At speed)


Coerver 1v1

Setup: 15×15 / 20×20 square

Description: Players now split up into two teams, defenders (reds shown) start with a ball. They dribble a stop the ball in front of the blue player who can attack. The defender must go round a cone and apply pressure to attacker. The attacker must break into the end zone and speed and try to knock a ball of the cone.

Players join opposite group once complete.


  • Make it a team competition – Give each team 5mins on clock to be attackers then rotate

Coaching points:

  • Quick finishing under pressure
  • Passing accuracy


Free play

Free play - 6v6

Passing and Possession

Warmup – Arrival Activity

1 ball between two, passing. Then passing and moving.

Whole – 6v6 game

Free play - 6v6

Description: Free play 6v6 with MUYL roll out rule in effect.

Coach the game:

  • Kickouts
  • Throw-ins
  • Defending Corners

Part – 3v1 Rondos

From Dick Bate Session - http://youtu.be/RtLv34u3Lec?t=16m52s
From Dick Bate Session – http://youtu.be/RtLv34u3Lec?t=16m52s

Description: Two 8×8 yard squares, in each there will be 3 on attacking team versus 1 defender who play a 3v1 Rondo (or Keep ball). On coaches call of “Switch”, the defender runs out and is replaced by another whilst the passing team continues. Replacing the defender helps to keep up intensity.

Game related: Often in matches you are put under a lot of pressure when playing out from the back. This makes the area you are playing in congested and often tight, therefore players must get used to quick passing and be aware of their movement to create space in order to play out.

  1. Change possession team every 5-6 minutes

Coaching Points:

  • Create space – width and depth
  • Movement – rotation
  • Passing technique and receiving technique
  • Passing in tight areas

Whole – 6v6 game

Free play - 6v6

Description: Free play 6v6 with MUYL roll out rule in effect.

Coach the game:

  • Kickouts
  • Throw-ins
  • Defending Corners

Passing and Receiving

Session Topic: Passing and Receiving
Time: 60mins
Players: 12-14

Session Coaching Points:

  • Support – Width & depth
  • Movement
  • Body position to receive – Open stance

1 – Warmup

Passing and Receiving - 4 Square Warmup

Video: http://youtu.be/uxCz5X6Pl8I

Description: Players split into four equal groups each in a square. 1 ball per square, players are passing and moving into space after. On the coaches call of “Switch” players move clockwise to the new square, leaving their ball in the previous square. Players can also perform dynamic stretches while moving.


  1. Each player has a number, when coach calls their number they run to the diagonal square and join in with passing
  2. Progress to a 3v1 Rondo square if there are enough players
  3. Large Rondo in the middle, 2 defenders and 2 touch max.

2 – Technical Practice

Passing - Technical Warmup

Video: http://www.thecoachingmanual.com/soccer/drills/combination-play-warm-up-technical-184

Description: Players split up into two teams, each team has 1-2 players (depending on numbers) in each of the corner boxes. Red team begins passing clockwise while the blue team pass anti-clockwise from box to box. Players will always follow their pass to the next box.


  1. Receiving player can come outside the box to recieve

Coaching Points:

  • Weight and accuracy of pass
  • Body Shape to receive
  • Scanning – Know where the next player is before you receive

3 – 4 Corner Possession


Description: One player from each team is positioned in opposite corner boxes. Coach starts play by passing to one team who must make at least 1 pass before finding a target player. Teams must then find the opposite target player to score again, they can use the same target player to maintain possession but will not get a point.

Rotate target players every 2-3 minutes.


  1. Player who passes in replaces the player in square who then dribbles out
  2. 4 Passes = goal

4 – Free Play 6v6

6v6 with Roll Out

Description: Free play 6v6 with MUYL roll out rule in effect. Encourage players to support from kick outs and encourage smart movement to provide opportunities to support.