This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to train receiving and moving forwards with the ball under limited defensive pressure.

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: Receiving

No. of Players: 5 – 15

Goalkeepers: Choice

Practice Type: 2v1

Offsides: Yes

Pitch Size: 24 x 12

Timing: 15 mins

Age Group: U9+

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


Area set up to accommodate a central channel 4 yards deep. The figure shows an example of the attacking players (yellow) passing, receiving and moving with the ball out the top end of the central channel before finishing on a target goal.
This figure shows a smaller receiving area. This may reduce the challenge point for the receiving players as there is less space available for the defender to chase them.
A gladiator challenge. Move out of the channel but find yourself facing another defender. Increasing the challenge point.
This figure shows a 3v2 adaptation of the practice. A yellow player dribbles the ball in to start.

The top side of the central channel is an offside line.

Any three of the yellow players may score once the ball is outside the top of the central channel.
This figure shows a 2v2 example adaptation of the practice.

An increased challenge point, with emphasis place upon attacking players movement off the ball to receive and move forwards with the ball.


This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to train receiving and moving forwards with the ball under limited defensive pressure. For junior and young youth teams this may serve as a practice within the main body of the session. For older youth and senior teams this can serve as a warm-up. The attacking players aim to receive the ball and move forwards out the top of the centrally marked zone before passing into the target goal. The defending player aims to steal possession of the ball in the central zone.


In the middle of the area mark a channel 4 yards deep. The ball starts with an attacking player at the bottom of the area whom passes the ball to a teammate who must receive in the central channel. The attacking player (yellow) aims to receive the ball and move out of the top of the central area before being dispossessed by the defender. The defending player is live from the pass. If the attackers score on goal they receive one point. If the defender steals the ball they immediately pass the ball back to the yellow player who played the original pass for one point. At the end of each play, the waiting player will play the next pass, the player who played the first pass will become the defender, the defender will become an attacker in the central area, the attacker that received the pass will move behind the new passing player, and the other attacker will remain in the central channel.

Observations & Interventions

What you might see

  • Players taking extended time to pass into the goal

Actions you might take

  • Impose a time limit for the ball to hit the back of the net. This will likely encourage a quicker release and more firm strike of the ball.


Is the session too easy?

  • Reduce the size of the playing area to 16 x 8

Is the session too hard?

  • Increase the size of the playing area to 24 x 12
  • Reduce the number of defenders

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