Soccer Drill - Hornet's Nest

Hornet’s Nest

In this fun rondo-style activity, players work on passing and possession whilst developing their spatial awareness. The game can also be used as a warm-up for switching the play and transition sessions with older players.

Hornet’s Nest Drill

Set Up The Drill

Using small cones, set up a 24×24 yard grid and then split it into four equal size squares (12×12) as shown in the diagram. Next, create a 2×2 yard diamond directly in the middle of the four squares. This will be the ‘Hornet’s nest.’ Have three sets of different color bibs and a supply of balls to help facilitate quick restarts.

Split the players up into three teams of 3 and put them in separate colored bibs. For the purpose of this activity description, the teams will be orange, red, and blue. The orange team starts as the ‘Hornets’ (defending team). They must all stand in the small ‘Hornet’s nest’ in the center grid. The red team groups up with a ball in one of the 12×12 yard squares. The blue team split up with one player standing in each of the three remaining squares.


To begin the activity, the red team tries to make four consecutive passes within their square. The orange team (the Hornets) sends one player from their nest to try and stop them. If the red team succeeds in making four consecutive passes, they can then try and pass/switch the ball to any of the three blue players. Following a successful switch;

  • The blue players all transition to the same square the ball was passed into and try to make four consecutive passes before switching again.
  • The red team spread out with one player moving to each of the three remaining squares.
  • The original orange defender goes back to the Hornet’s nest, and the orange team sends a different defender to try and win the ball from blue.

The orange team continues to be the Hornets (defenders) until they win the ball back and make a switch themselves, or one of the attacking teams kicks the ball out of the grid. When that happens, the team that lost the ball becomes the new Hornets, and play continues.

Tip: At the start of the activity, suggest to the Hornets team that they can just stay in the Hornet’s nest so they can figure out the rotation system (who moves where after the ball is successfully switched to another box.) before sending a player to win the ball.


The hornets get to send two defenders in at one time (advanced players only).

Coaching Points

  • Upon switch, the appropriate offensive team must transition and move to support the ball as quickly as possible whilst the remaining team spreads out to empty three boxes, providing options for the next switch.
  • Players should provide good angles of support at all times.
  • Good communication on and off the ball.
  • Keep your head up and be aware of options at all times.