Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Simple way to get players to look up


This session from Kevin McGreskin is aimed at developing a player’s visual awareness by making them look up and know what their team mates are doing around them. In the session, players have to carry out a specific action in response to a visual cue which forces them to look before they pass or receive a pass.

How it works

In the picture above. Player 2 must only use three touches in the centre – one to control the ball, one to move it and one to pass.

Encourage players to call out the colour of the visual cue during the exercise. This is an important secondary task that increases the challenge for the players and gets them used to talking during play.

How to play it

  • You need three players, two balls and six markers.

  • Player 2 stands between two markers (one black, one white) approximately three yards apart.

  • Players 1 and 3 each have one black and one white marker.

  • Player 1 passes to player 2.

  • Player 2 must look around to "spot" the visual cue, held up by player 3.

  • Player 2 must then shift the ball around the same coloured marker as the visual cue.

  • Player 2 follows the ball and makes a return pass to player 1.

  • Player 2 turns and repeats with player 3. This time, player 1 will hold up the visual cue.

How to progress it

  • Continue as above but player 2 must now "spot" a second visual cue, held up by player 3 in the picture, and call out the colour before making the return pass.
  • Rotate players after they have had two turns.

Key coaching tips

  • Make sure players look over their shoulder before receiving a pass.

  • Players need a good touch to shift the ball out of their feet and beyond the cone.

  • Ensure players look up and correctly identify the second visual cue before making the return pass.

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