October 8, 2014

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Split the Defense Passing Game

The ability to split the defense while dribbling and passing is crucial to advancing the ball and securing a man advantage on the attack. This soccer drill encourages quick ball movement and timely passes, and it is intended for advanced U14 players focused on splitting the defense.

Soccer Drill Setup

Set up a number of 20×20-yard grids throughout your practice area and assign six players to each grid. The players will then be separated into three teams of two – two teams will start as attackers outside of the grid and one will act as the defenders inside the grid. The object of the game is for the two attacking teams to work together at keeping the ball away from the defenders, all while gaining points by successfully completing a pass between the two defenders.

Split the Defense Passing Game Rules

If the attacking team turns the ball over and the defenders gain possession, the attacking team charged with the turnover will swap places with the defenders. However, if the attacking teams successfully split the defenders three times, the defenders will have to intercept three balls before swapping positions with an attacking team.

Coaching Points

In order for this drill to work, you may need to alter the size of the grid or limit the number of touches attacking teams need to have before attempting to split the defenders. If you expand the grid, have all three teams play inside so they have plenty of room for multiple games to be played on the pitch.

As the coach, stress the importance of communication during this drill. The attackers need to talk to each other and use hand signals to properly stretch the field and get in the right position.

Teams that communicate have tremendous success on the pitch, and this is a great soccer drill to instill this value in your team.