Soccer 4v1 Keep Away Training Drill

4v1 Keep Away

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Basic Information

Age Group: (5-7yrs)(8-11yrs) (12-15yrs) (16-Adult)
Number of Players: 5
Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Time: 10-15 min.
Emphasis: Passing, Possession, Defending

Field Preparation:

  • groups of 5
  • grid (12yds x 12yds)
  • cones to mark off area
  • repeat setup to accommodate the entire team


  • players on the outside of grid try to keep possession by passing the ball around
  • defending player switches with the attacking player who makes an error
  • players can move up and down their lines but cannot come inside the grid
  • first pass is free


  • outside players cannot pass back to pass giver
  • add a second defender
  • regular 4v1 keep away with all players inside the grid
  • switch defender if he intercepts 3 passes
  • limit number of touches for players on the outside
  • adjust spacing depending on the age and ability of the group

Coaching Points:

  • angle, distance and timing of support
  • vision
  • body position – open to field
  • decision making
  • verbal and visual communication
  • good first touch takes ball away from pressure
  • weight of pass
  • accuracy
  • disguise

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