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Circle Keep-Away Passing Game

Focus of the Drill

The focus of this drill is to teach the younger players quick passing and also make them more apt in passing game while playing keep away.


To set up this drill, you have to mark off a circle with the help of cones. Then , you have to make each of the players position themselves inside the circle of cones. Make sure that 2 designated players in the middle are holding a yellow penny (alternate colored jersey) in their hands.

Circle Keep-Away Passing Game

How to Play

This drill begins with the two players in the middle acting as defenders. Rest of the players around the circle will play keep away from these defenders in the game.

First pass is free and it starts the game. When the defenders win the ball, they switch places with the player that lost the ball to the defender. The current defender drops their yellow penny. He then joins the attackers. The new defender grabs the yellow penny.

If the pass goes outside, the player that made the bad pass will take the place of the defender.

If the attackers put together 10 passes, then you have to make the defenders do a quick lap around the circler some other form of punishment.

The attacking players can move about the circle.

Different Versions

To introduce some changes in the game play 1. You can change the size of the circle to fit your player’s age. You can decrease the size of the grid to make the game harder for the attackers. This way, they will feel it hard to keep possession. You can also make the grid larger to make the game easier for the passers.

2. Other way is to make the circle smaller for quicker passing.

3. Third way is to limit the number of touches.

Coaching Tips

As a coach, make sure that:

  1. The players follow clean passes.

  2. Good first touch is practiced into space by the players or towards the next pass.

  3. There is good communication between players.

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