Circle Keep-Away Passing Game

This is a fun passing game for younger players that allows them to focus on the passing game while playing keep away.

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circle keep-away passing game, soccer keep away, passing game


With cones, mark off a circle. Have each of the players position themselves just inside the circle, with 2 designated players in the middle holding a yellow penny (alternate colored jersey) in their hands.


  1. The two players in the middle will act as defenders while the rest of the players around the circle will play keep away from these defenders.
  2. Start with the first pass being free, then as the defenders win the ball, they switch places with the player that lost the ball to the defender. In this case, the current defender would just drop their yellow penny and join the attackers. The new defender will grab the yellow penny and hold it in their hand.
  3. If the pass goes outside of the circle, the player that made the bad pass, or the player that did not properly trap the ball will take the place of the defender that has been in the middle the longest.
  4. If the attacking players are able to put together 10 passes make the defenders do a quick lap around the circle (Lap of shame as we call it) or some other form of quick and fun punishment.
  5. The attacking players can move about the circle.

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  • Change the size of the circle to fit your players age and skill level. Make the grid smaller to make the game harder for the attackers to keep possession, or make the grid larger to make the game a bit easier for the passers.
  • Make the circle smaller for tighter and quicker passing.
  • Limit the number of touches.

Coaching Points

  • Clean, crisp passes.
  • Good first touch into space or towards the next pass.
  • Good communication.
  • Have fun.

Drill Target Ages

  • U4, U-4, Under 4, 4 and Under
  • U5, U-5, Under 5, 5 and Under
  • U6, U-6, Under 6, 6 and Under
  • U7, U-7, Under 7, 7 and Under
  • U8, U-8, Under 8, 8 and Under
  • U9, U-9, Under 9, 9 and Under
  • U10, U-10, Under 10, 10 and Under
  • U11, U-11, Under 11, 11 and Under
  • U12, U-12, Under 12, 12 and Under

Soccer Drill Focus

Soccer Drill Titled: Circle Keep-Away Passing Game
Tagged: circle keep-away passing game, soccer keep away, passing game
Published by: Chris Johnson
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