"Teach kid soccer players
to play give and

The give and go has several names like the one-two or the wall pass. The play develops when two attacking players connect a couple of passes together around a defender. The move is very simple but effective, easily eliminating defenders from the picture and helping your team to keep the soccer ball.

The players have to have mastered being able to pass the soccer ball with the inside of the foot pass at various angles and the team should be able to possess the soccer ball before a coach should attempt to add in the give and go.

So, what determines possession?

The players should be able to use a combination of dribbling skills and passing against an opponent. If my players can put together 10-15 passes in a row against an opponent this is a good time to introduce the give and go.

A quick overview of the move...

Player 1 has the soccer ball and is running at the defender while player 2 will get into a supporting position to receive a pass from player 1 and continue attacking.

Once player 1 has passed the soccer ball to player 2 he/she runs through to receive the return pass from player 2.

How does the one/two or wall pass work?

There you have it, the wall pass or one-two! How do we teach kids to play a good one-two?

When do you use a give and go?

A move can be used practically anywhere on the field. An example might be...

  1. A defender dribbling into midfield with the soccer ball plays a give and go with the outside mid or center mid and moves into the attack.
  2. A midfield player combines with another midfield player to move into the attack or keep possession of the soccer ball.
  3. A midfield player combines with a forward to get in for a scoring chance.

There are endless possibilities where players can combine and use wall passes.

How to teach young players the wall pass...

Exercise #1

Equipment: Cone and a soccer ball

Level: Kids that can play soccer U9 - U12.

  1. Player 1 positions himself or herself 2-3 yards off the cone.
  2. Player 2 dribbles toward the cone and passes the ball to player 1 and keeps moving past the cone for the return pass.
  3. Once player 2 gets the soccer ball he or she turns and repeats the exercise going the other way.
  4. The player can apply any turn here like the sole, cut, Cruyff, step over ...once the players have gone 5 -10 times they swap places.

Coaching tips: There are several factors that go into a successful wall pass...

  1. The player with the soccer ball runs at the defender and draws the defender in most of the time and then slides the pass into the second player. Why? If the attacking player plays the pass to soon the defender can stay with the runner or close the ball down.
  2. The receiver has a choice, take a touch or play a one touch pass. The receiver will face the passer and receive the soccer ball with an open body shape, taking a touch with the opposite or back foot and play the pass with the other foot.
  3. The pass must be played into the path of the runner so they can take their next touch and not have to stop moving.
  4. The runner must accelerate past the defender.
  5. Once the players are comfortable have them play one touch.

This exercise will teach the kids the basics of the wall pass. The next exercise will help them perfect the move.

Exercise #2

Equipment: cones and soccer ball.

Players: A group of five players.

Exercise: Two cones 15 yards apart.

  • Player 1 on cone and player 2 on the other side, facing each other.
  • Player 3 (defender) stands between player 1 and player 2 facing player 1.
  • Player 4 (attacking player) stands 3-5 yards on either side of player 3 (defending player) facing player 1.

If the coach has an extra player put them behind player "A" and this will keep the game going.

How do we get the game going...

  • Player 1 starts with the soccer ball and dribbles toward 3 (defender) in the middle and plays the soccer ball to player 4 and continues the run and gets the return pass back from player 4.
  • 1 then plays the ball to 5 who repeats the exercise going the other way.

The coach can play a small sided games at the end of soccer practice. The players score points by connecting on a wall pass or one-two.

Watch the pros do it!

Return to Coaching Kids Soccer from The Give and Go.

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