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Aerial Control and Aerial Passing

Drill Objective(s)
  1. Developing control skills when receiving passes off the ground.
  2. Develop aerial control skills under pressure.
  3. Develop throw in techniques.
  4. Develop possession in a small group.

  • Drill No: PAS3
  • Age: 11-14yrs
  • No Players: 12+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Area/Time: 30yrd Diameter Circle, 40x30yrd grid.
Diagram 1 - Technical
  • 30yrd diameter circle.
  • Teams of 4 (4xRed, 4xYellow, 4xBlue).
  • 20mins for the technical, 20mins for the Possession Progression, 30mins SSG).
  • The circle diameter can be varied depending on the session objective. Larger for long range passing, shorter for short passing and combination play.

Technical (Diagram 1)

  • Playing in a circular area one team works in the central area.
  • 4 players work on the inside and 8 players support on the outside of the circle.
  • 4 balls are used and start with the outside players.
  • The outside players have the balls in their hands and deliver under-arms throws to the central players to control. This is progressed to a real thrown in to create match realism. Then progressed to outside players chipping the ball into players (dependent on ability).
  • Players perform throw ins into the central players who check away and to the throws from the outside players. The players receive the ball using foot, thigh, chest, head and pass put to another outside player who doesnt have a ball. Progress from the feet up to the head (2min each type of control, then rotate team roles).
  1. Y3 passes into R1 who moves towards the throw (throw in).
  2. R1 receives the pass with the requested part of the body before the ball bounces and on the second touch passes out to Y2. R1 then turns and moves to another outside player with a ball.


    1. Selection of the correct part of the body to control the throw with.
    2. Get in line with the flight of the ball, quick feet.
    3. Contact point on the instep should be half way up the ball or higher.
    4. Observation of where the receiver wants the ball (i.e. into their thigh, chest,etc).
    5. Weight of the thrown pass.
    6. Accuracy of the thrown pass.
    7. Communication between the passer and receiver. Also note the eye contact.
    8. Create space to receive passes.
    9. Control touch towards next target.
    10. Awareness. Looking over the shoulder to assess space and a players first touch being into space.
    11. Checking for space and movement to get free.


      Progression 1 (Diagram 2)

      • Two teams now play possession together whilst one defends (i.e. Blue in Diagram 2).
      • Passes from the outside players must be throw ins.
      • The defending team has two defenders in the circle and two which remain on the outside of the circle and wait for the blues playing inside the circle to win the play and play it to the outside blues.
      • The team which lost possession to the blues would then become the defenders (i.e. with two inside the circle and two outside).
      Diagram 2 - Progression to Possession SSG with Aerial Control

      Progression 2 (SSG)

      • 4vs4 directional game with one team (4 players) acting as two wingers (Y1,Y2) and two target players (Y3,Y4). When a winger or target player receives a pass, they pick up the ball and throw the ball in to another player.
      • Score by passing into the target end players.
      • Players should work to create space to receive passes and review the selection of possible passes.
      Diagram 3 - SSG

        1. Require one touch passing from the throw in (i.e. An aerial pass, head, foot, or chest).
        2. Increase the size of the circle or SSG to incorporate longer passing/throw in skills.
        3. In the technical section players must approach another internal player, and push off them, go around them to take their eyes off you to create space prior to receiving.
        4. Require players to chip the ball into the target players hands to score a point.
        5. All passes (including central players should be aerial).

          This is match realistic and simulates maintaining possession from throw ins in a real game. Encourage the outside players to look for quick throw ins to prevent players being man marked in the SSG.

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