This practice is primarily for use as a warm-up activity, allowing for high numbers of repetitions of first-touch receiving and short distance passing.

About the Video

In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players.

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Practice Overview

Topic: Passing & receiving

No. of Players: 8 – 16

Goalkeepers: N/A

Practice Type: 1v1

Offsides: N/A

Pitch Size: 2 x 3

Timing: 10 – 15 mins

Age Group: U6+

Interpreting the Diagrams

The key below outlines what the images mean on the diagrams.

If you have questions about the practices, contact the PDP Team or share your views on the Player Development Project Coaching Community.

Key For Diagrams
soccer training diagram


A 2×3 playing area is set up. The two cones immediately in front of each player for their respective passing/receiving gates. The figure shows an example where the first-touch must take the player to the side of their gate, and the second touch must be a pass back through the middle of their opponents gate.
To challenge the first-touch to control of the ball, players can take one touch to stop the ball behind their gates, then play the pass back through the middle of their own and their partner’s cones.

If their first-touch takes them through or to the side of their own gate, their partner receives a point.
To challenge the players ability to take their first-touch to space, the game is played around the outside of the original 2×3 area, still with a 2-touch restriction.

To balance which direction the players are passing and receiving, the players/coach should alternate the direction of play between rounds or games.
This example is demonstrating how we can adapt the activity if we have an uneven numbers of players in our session, by making one group of three.

The game is the same, except the receiving player can choose which opposing player’s gates they want to play the pass through.
In this example, players are restricted to playing 2-touch keep up within the original 2×3 area.

If the players takes more than 2-touches or their aerial pass lands outside of the playing area, a point is awarded to their partner.


This practice is primarily for use as a warm-up activity, allowing for high numbers of repetitions of first-touch receiving and short distance passing. Players are paired up and position themselves at opposite sides of of the playing area. The aim of the game is to receive the ball, take a touch to either side of your gate, and pass the ball back through their partners gate, using a maximum of 2-touches. The small playing area and player numbers are designed to maximise the number of repetitions each player accumulates.


Set up a small sided 2×3 playing area. Two players position themselves at opposite ends of the playing area, between the cones. The cones they are now stood between act as passing gates. To score this game, a player receives a point each time their opponent is unable to receive and pass the ball back to them using more than 2-touches, hitting a cone, or playing an unplayable pass. To keep the game competitive it is recommended first to a select number of points is the winner and both players move games to play new opponents after each game. After each game the task constraints of the practice can be altered to provide a different challenge (for examples see the next page). 

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • Players striking the ball back very hard at their partner

Actions you might take

  • Award a point to the partner who the unplayable pass is played to


Is the session too easy?

  • Change the playing partners
  • Move the partners gates 1-step closer to each other (creating a 2×2 grid)

Is the session too hard?

  • Change the playing partners
  • Move the partners gates 1-step further apart from each other (creating a 2×4 grid)

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