In the video clip below  from World Class Coaching Paul Heffer, who is the Assistant Academy Director at West Ham United, instructs players during a circle possession game drill.  Coach Heffer is a former professional soccer player that played for West Ham United and has lots of experience with training youth soccer players.

This drill is set up in a large circle made by two teams of players.  Both teams have three players inside the circle with the other players on the outside.  There is one ball that is used as both teams try to play possession and keep away.  The players on the inside can play to each other, as well as using their outside teammates.  If there is a pass made between two players on the same team, they must switch with the outside player coming into the circle and the inside player going to the outside.

There are several important parts to focus on with this drill and demonstration


The players need to constantly think about where the open space is at.  Young players that lack experience normally struggle with finding the open space and will pass or dribble into congested areas, rather than going away from pressure.

2. Quick possession

The ball needs to move quickly in order for players to keep possession.  If the pace is too slow and not fast enough, the defending team will be able to steal it or at least put enough numbers around the ball to win it back.  Players should be instructed to play in 1 or 2 touches all over the field and to not stop or slow the ball down.

3. Outside players

The outside players in the circle are a key part in this drill as they not only provide multiple passing options for the inside players, but they also can see the entire circle by facing in.  These players should be helping the inside players through communication and then attacking the open space when they enter the inside of the circle.

The YouTube video below has sound so please make sure that you have your sound turned on and that you have access to the site. Please note that some schools block access to YouTube.

If you are interested in improving your teams ability to take advantage of the oppositions defense, you might want to check out these 2 e-books from World Class Coaching . Just click on the images below for more information about Coaching Possession with Purpose:

Volume 1                                             Volume 2


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