First Touch Passing Drill

First Touch Passing Square

In this unopposed passing and receiving warm-up, players work on their first touch and quality of pass. This activity has plenty of repetition as is a great activation activity for a session on switching the play.

First Touch Passing Square

Set Up The Drill

Create a 15×15 yard grid using small cones. Next, create four small gates in each corner of the grid with each gate facing a different direction (see diagram). You’ll need 3 balls.


Split the players up into 4 groups and place one group in each corner standing behind a gate each. The players should line up one behind each other. Starting with one ball only the players should pass around the square and follow each of their passes by joining the back of the line that they passed to. Upon receiving a pass the receiving player should take their first touch through the gate next to them & towards the next line that they are passing to. Begin with one ball and then add a second ball to the activity to increase the number of passes being made and the intensity of the drill.


Switch the direction of the gates and passes so players can receive with their opposite foot.

Coaching Points

  • Players should open their hips up and receive on the back foot.
  • Challenge players to successfully take their first touch through the gate whilst also setting up their next pass.
  • Players should check their shoulder before receiving.
  • Players should be on their toes at all times
  • Players should pass the ball at game speed and communicate throughout the activity.


Award the team 1 point every time they successfully move the ball around the square whilst successfully taking their first touches through the gates with each pass. Time how long it takes them to get to 5 points and then challenge them to beat that time in the next round!