Passing and receiving
For children of this particular age receiving the ball represents a difficult technical detail. This is due to the fact that some children are still unable to assess the ball’s speed. You should always start their training with practicing how to receive a rolling ball. Receiving the ball is always based on amortisation and drop-kick principles. Receiving the ball depends on the ball’s trajectory:
- Receiving a rolling ball (with the inner and outer sides of the foot or with the sole)
- Receiving bouncing balls (with the sole, inner or outer side of the foot, with the thigh or stomach)
- Receiving semi-high balls (with a horizontal or slightly parabolic trajectory) (with the inner and outer sides of the foot, the thigh or the instep).
- Receiving high balls (with the chest, head, thigh and different parts of the foot, combined with receiving the ball on the ground).
Passes (kicks with the inners side of the foot) are elaborated in the basic kick techniques section and therefore there is no need to elaborate them at this point and in relation to receiving the ball
- Explanation (description, application and importance of a particular element)
- Simulation (practicing the movement without the ball)
- Working individually (dropping and receiving the ball in place)
- Working in pairs (one player makes the pass and the other receives the ball in place)
- One player passes the ball and the other receives it in movement
- Linking receiving with leading, passing and kicking
Show what receiving the ball on the ground looks like. The player who receives the ball has to pass it on right away to make the receiving as natural as possible.
RECEIVING ROLLING BALLS
Players are lined up in two columns facing each other at about 10 metres distance. They are running in place, receiving and passing the ball as follows:
- Moving towards the ball, positioning the foot at the ball and rolling it backwards (amortisation)
- One player receives the ball that his/her partner had passed/thrown in place.
- Stopping the rolling ball with the inner side of the foot and passing it with the same foot to the partner.
- Receive the rolling ball with the inner side of the foot, shift it to the other foot, and pass it to your partner.
Receive the ball with one and pass it with the other foot.
- Receive the ball with the outer side of the foot and pass it with the inner side of the same foot.
- Receive the ball with the inner and outer sides of the foot, move the ball by 90° to both sides, and pass it to your partner.
I call out – Give me the ball
Players are in a limited field with only one ball. Each player is given a number. The ball is being passed from player 1 to 6 and back from player 6 to player 1. The next player in line to receive the ball has to call out his/her number. The ball can be passed straight away, after being received and lead, or after being touched three times with different parts of the foot, the entire heel, or its inner or outer side.
- Another variant of the same exercise would be to introduce two balls and tell the players with odd numbers (1- 3-5) to cooperate with each other (receiving, leading, passing). The same applies to players with even numbers (2-4-6).
- Similarly, you can have three balls and do the same exercise in pairs. 1-2, 3-4, 5-6.
Pass the ball through the coach's legs
- The coach stands in a quadrangle sized 10×10 metres. He/she changes his/her position and spreads his/her legs from time to time.
- The players follow his moves and use the opportunity to pass the ball through the coach’s legs.
- Who will be the first to succeed five times?
Playing on a marked field with several cone-goals.
You should work in pairs and score points by leading the ball across the goal line or by receiving the ball on the other side of the cone-goals. The focus is on receiving the ball, leading the ball to the side, various forms of leading, passing, and placing the ball.
A 3:3, 4:4, 7:7 game, with or without goalkeepers.
- This is a free game, but remember! RECEIVE THE BALL as many times as possible with various parts of your foot, lead the ball and cooperate. Pass the ball without interception, with semi-active, or active interception. Use one or two balls (each team plays with its own ball, and attacks only one goal).
Playing on two goals (7+1:7+1)
- The game is played with ground passes exclusively.
The coach instructs the teams how to receive, pass, lead, shoot on goal, and place the ball.
- The rival team, while defending their goal, plays a passive, semi-active, or active game.
- Allow the ball to be touched only twice (receive and pass).
- Goals are scored only by placing the ball with different parts of the foot on the ground after receiving.
Set up 4 or 5 small goals. Players work in pairs and pass the ball to one another. They can score a point when they pass the ball through the goal but the ball has to be received in the right way.
The pairs cannot score if they constantly shoot at one and the same goal. They have to move and change goals. Passing the ball to a teammate through the goal, who is running into the free space, opens up the spatial dimension of the game, enhancing the dynamics of receiving and passing the ball in movement.
Exercises in flexible groups
Players are divided into groups of four. 2:2 at a distance of 10 metres. They practice ball reception, passing and dribbling as follows:
- Receiving and passing the ball to the other column and running to the back of your own column.
- Receiving and passing the ball. After passing, players have to go to the back of the opposite column.
- Having received the ball, players lead it with the instep to the opposite column, stop it with the sole in front of the player who runs at it and makes a long parabolic pass towards the opposite column.
The coach gives instructions in current circumstances related to ball reception, leading and passing.
- Receiving the ball in the air (with the thigh, chest, or head) as would be done in a real game. A plastic ball can be used for practicing receiving the ball with the chest or head. The ball is at first thrown gently so as to create a moderate arc and then kicked from the hands with the instep from a greater distance.
RECEIVING A BOUNCING BALL
Receiving the ball based on the trapping principle (drop-kick) so that the player touches the bouncing ball with the shin or foot, directing it to the ground, and pointing it to the right direction.
A player drops the ball him/herself and receives it with.
- The palm of his/her hand as if with a foot.
- The inner side of the foot.
- The outer side of the instep.
- The foot sole.
- The shin and stomach.
- Any part of the body he/she chooses.
- A ball thrown or kicked in the air, closer or further away, can be received in various ways.
- After juggling, receive the ball randomly, changing its direction.
A player kicks or throws the ball to his/her partner who:
- Receives it with the inner side of the foot (both feet).
- Receives it with the outer side of the instep (both feet).
- Receives it with the sole.
- Receives it at random choice, changing its pace and direction (pronounced acceleration after reception).
- Receives it with the sole pointing it in the same direction.
- Receives it with the inner or outer side of the foot turning by 90 or 180 degrees.
- Feinting to the side, receiving the ball with a drop kick before the ball reaches the ground and leading it to the opposite direction accelerating its pace.
- Working in pairs, one player throws the ball and the other receives it with passive interception.
- A player throws and receives the ball, while the player behind him/her is trying to obstruct him.
- A player throws the ball, attacks, and tackles, while the other player receives, leads, blocks, and guards the ball.
RECEIVING SEMI-HIGH BALLS
Receiving the afore-mentioned balls based on the principle of amortisation is always linked to, i.e. combined with receiving the ball on the ground (drop-kick). We can receive these balls in various ways:
- This is usually done with the inner or the outer side of the foot, the thigh and instep, chest and head. The most important thing is to assess the balls speed, position oneself vertically in relation to the ball, stretch the part of the body with which we receive the ball and lift it back at the point of contact and slow down the ball, stopping its trajectory in front of ourselves. This gives us an opportunity to play on, start leading the ball, pass it, or shoot on goal. After imitating those movements, we should instantly try to work in pairs. At first, partners will throw the ball, but some time later, they should try the volley kick with a stretched instep.
- Standing in place and taking turns, one of the players throws the ball in while the other receives it.
- Moving forward and back, first assist your partner by throwing him/her the ball and then by shooting.
- Receiving the ball in place and turning by 90 or 180 degrees.
- Assisting with a ground kick from a moderate or longer distance.
- Working in groups of three or four, in place or while moving, receiving, leading and passing the ball with a lob kick.
- Linking receiving, dribbling, and passing with shooting (finishing).
RECEIVING HIGH BALLS
When receiving a high ball, the first thing we have to do is to steady the ball, moving towards it and flexibly optimising the striking surface. We can do this with the chest, head, thigh, and different parts of the foot. Using soft balls at the beginning not only makes the reception a lot easier but it also helps beginners overcome their fear of contact with the ball. Practicing the ball reception technique itself should not be constrained to time and success. Methodologically, a coach should at this stage first encourage children to practice receiving the ball in place and then while moving, as well as combined with other techniques. Leading, passing, dribbling, and shooting.
When it comes to beginners, special attention is paid to softly stopping and lowering the incoming ball in order to bring it under control while moving, and to lead it with the inner or outer side of the foot. The first contact is thus the most important one. If we can control the ball, then there is no difficulty in finding the possible and ideal solutions, i.e. positive outcomes of an action or combination/cooperation, which is the most important element of an attack in a football game.
- A player tosses the ball to him/herself and receives it in place (with his head, chest, thigh, and instep).
- Do the same exercise again but this time with slow movement.
- Juggling the ball first, the player tosses it to him/herself and receives it in place, while moving or jumping.
Working in pairs
- Toss the ball to your partner. He/she receives it with the chest or head directing it to the ground and proceeds to dribble the ball for a few metres.
- Toss the ball to your partner. He/she receives it with the chest or head and returns the ball with a header.
- Toss the ball to your partner. He/she receives it with the chest or head and returns it with the inner side of the foot or the instep.
- Kick the ball to your partner so that he/she receives it with the chest or head, dribbles, and shoots.
- Kick the ball to your partner. He/she receives it with the chest or head and proceeds with a volley kick.
There are many ways in which you can combine the reception of the ball with the chest and head with other elements and techniques. Coaches will have no difficulty whatsoever in developing a number of interesting tasks that will largely focus on receiving high balls.
Receive the ball from your partner
The partner shoots and serves long parabolic and sharp semi-high passes while the other player receives them either in the air or with a drop-kick on the ground as fast as possible and passes it back to the first player. Both players move around the field passing the ball to each other in various ways and with various parts of the foot changing the ball’s direction, pace and rhythm.
Random and planned passes
This game allows 4-16 players to participate. Each player is given a number. They move around the station and pass the ball from the first to the last player who then passes it back to the first player and the game goes on. Players are allowed to pass the ball with the hand, foot, or head.
- Players can pass the ball counting the players backwards. The coach can call out the number of the player who should receive the ball.
- The player in question should either raise his/her hand or give a sign of some sort to the passer.
Player A passes the ball towards the goal to player B who finishes off with a shot on goal
Player B receives and dribbles the ball, turns towards the goal and shoots (running towards the goal) and stays at the goal, while player C moves away from the goal and stands at the back of the column. Player A, who passed the ball, proceeds to place B. This time, player B receives the ball, turns, and proceeds to shoot on goal.
Lark is a popular football game that can be played and organised in a number of different ways. This game is very useful for working with younger children because it helps us improve the receiving and passing abilities in a particular situation. We would like to emphasise that coaches set the conditions which children are able to fulfil successfully and which are in line with their technical and tactical abilities. First of all, this relates to the allowed number of contacts with the ball, the number of players in the centre of a circle whose task is to touch or steal the ball from the players from the circle, as well as to the size of the circle. Attention should be paid to the technical and tactical aspects of the game.
- A 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 4:2; 5:2; 6:2 game whereby one, two or more contacts with the ball are allowed.
- A 6:3; 9:3; game in three or four colours where players are divided into groups of three. Having made a mistake in passing, the team in the middle must be changed completely.
Naturally, there are far more difficult variants of this game in which the number of players in the centre is increased and the number of allowed contacts reduced. However, that is of little interest to us since it is too difficult and too complex for children of this age. Similarly, the aforementioned variants should be organised at a station to provide as much space as possible, allowing at least two or three contacts for the youngsters. The older group can try a single-contact variant.
- All players are divided into two groups. Each group forms a semi-circle. There is a player with a ball in the centre of each semi-circle. At an agreed signal, the player makes a ground pass to the first player in the semi-circle with the inner side of the right foot. The player returns the ball in the same fashion. The ball is then passed to the second player and then to the third, fourth, etc. The first group to finish the game wins. In case of a mistake, the player who made the mistake has to continue the game.
- Two teams play. Each team is divided into two columns facing each other at a distance of 2-5 metres. Each group is given a ball. At the coach’s signal, the first player in the first column passes the ball to the first player in the second column. That player then passes the ball to the second player in the first column and so the ball is passed on in a zigzag manner to the last player in the column and goes back to the player who started the game.
- Two teams play. Each team forms a column in which players stand behind each other with their legs spread apart. At about two metres distance from the column, there is a line behind which is a player with a ball. He/she kicks the ball trying to pass it through the legs of the players in the column. The last player in the column takes the ball, picks it up and runs forward and repeats the activity. Players who finish passing the ball go back to the end of the column.
- Players are divided into two columns. There are several cones in front of each column, each about half a metre away from the other. There is a player behind the cones whose task is to catch the ball and put the cones back to their place in case they are knocked down. At coachs signal, the first player passes the ball past the cones to his/her player but has to be careful not to knock down the cones because the second player cannot continue the game until they are put back the way they were. The player behind the cones takes the ball and throws it to the next player who places it at the designated starting point and continues the game.
- Rugby passes, only backward. Teams of four compete. At the coach’s signal, the four players pass the ball among themselves. The ball is dribbled and that is the only way the team can move forward. The aim is not to make a mistake, whereas points are gained by counting the successful passes in a given period of time. The system of elimination can also be applied here. The group that makes a mistake is out of the game.
- Rugby passes, forward. The same principles apply as in the previous game
Passing the ball through the goal
- Make a small hurdle with sticks (crossbar not necessary).
- Five metres away from the hurdle (on both sides) there are two columns of players (the same number).
- There are several balls to work with and several cones are placed on both sides of the hurdle.
- Players pass the ball through the hurdle.
- After that, the player runs slalom among the cones and goes to the back of the opposite column.
- Each player counts his/her successful passes. Which of them has the made the most passes in a given period of
- Organize a relay competition.
Players with markers are divided in pairs and arranged to stand in lines facing each other. Between them, also facing each other, there are two players without markers.
- One of the players without a marker plays a pass towards his teammate (“Torpedo”).
- Players with markers attempt to hit the ball of the blue players with their own ball.
- Should one of them succeed, the pair wins a point.
- Should the other pair succeed to pass the ball from one to the other without the other pair hitting the ball, they get a point.