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One Touch Passing Drills Explained

This week's MSC Breakdown looks at exercises that utilize one-touch passing and the different ways you can bring this to the training pitch. In the video we look at how some of the top teams use this in their sessions and there may be a few reasons for this. Firstly, one-touch passing exercises are much more challenging from a technical point of view than a traditional passing exercise. Secondly, a coach who implements a one-touch passing exercise in their warm-up may increase the level of tempo and energy, simply by the type of activity. As we show in the breakdown, coaches can make it competitive, introduce a goal, or even merge it with opposed work to bring out a little more in the session than you would get from a routine passing exercise. Finally, the demands of the game today simply require players at the competitive level to be proficient and comfortable in playing first time inside congested areas. Allowing players opportunities to build these skillsets and increase confidence levels can help prepare them for a session that will require decision making and combination play in small spaces.

The full breakdown is available on our YouTube page - where we share five exercises in total. We have broken down the three most complex exercises and will explain them below:

  1. Chelsea Pre-Game Warm-Up

In this exercise, eight players are organized into a small area with only one ball used throughout. The ball moves in the pattern above and the players simply follow their pass after to move to the next spot. This is an effective exercise for a variety of angles in the passing (utilizing both square and diagonal passes) and the short rotations allow it to be a progression of a warm-up, which is where Chelsea recently used it for their match against Arsenal.

2. Mikel Arteta Y Passing Exercise:

With only five players used in this exercise, the rotations and the quality of technique must be at a really high level for it to really flow. The ball moves in a pretty straightforward pattern with an initial give-and-go followed by a diagonal pass. However, as we showed in the video, it's the movements following the pass that can be quite complex. Above, Player A plays the diagonal pass and moves to the corner where they played the ball, but Player B stays. As Player C gets the return, they will play to Player D and then drift into the middle. Player D then restarts the pattern and plays into Player B for a return pass to go out the other side, which then allows Player B to drop down to the starting spot again and Player C takes their place in the middle for two more passes.

Below is the video again to watch:

3. Triangle Passing Exercise

Although the diagram for this exercise makes it look extremely complex, it's actually quite simple to get this exercise moving with a good flow. Basically, there is a small inside triangle (red cones) and a bigger outside triangle (in blue cones). The outside triangle always plays the furthest inside triangle, who then plays a drop pass to progress the ball to the next outside triangle. However, players must move quickly to the next cone here as the nature of the triangle set-up requires them to be at the next cone within seconds to continue the pattern.

If you would like to watch the video of all the exercises, including two more that we have not shown here, please watch below. (And please subscribe to our YouTube page so you don't miss any more!!!)

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