Dealing with the back pass

We’ve seen some calamitous back-passes over the years and as a defender, you’re always told to not pass the ball back inline with the goal, however as a keeper sometimes you get some horrible ones and to deal with them, you need confidence, skill and composure. Work on all three aspects with this session.

What is the session about?

This session works on the goalkeeper playing out from the back using their feet. In the session we are working on the team retaining possession and then looking to penetrate the opposition once they have been drawn in.

How will this benefit a coach and their players?

The session allows the coach to get the goalkeeper used to receiving the ball in unopposed practice and gradually building up to the goalkeeper being under pressure. The goalkeeper will be more comfortable in possession with the ball at their feet. It will also help the team recognise positions to take up to give the goalkeeper support once the ball has been passed back.

What key skills will be worked on in this session?

The session works on receiving the ball and body position and angle to weight and accuracy of the pass out. It also works on the goalkeepers readjustment of position once they have played the ball out to continue to offer support to the outfield players. The session predominantly works on the goalkeeper playing the ball into feet. That is why we can use mini goals as they act as a static target. In future sessions work on the pass from the goalkeeper to be into space to create more penetration.

Is there a specific age group for this session to be aimed at? If so, what age group and why?

The session is aimed at older goalkeepers. If working the session with younger keepers some of the practices are likely to break down and they still have a tendency to want to pick the ball up when under pressure. However it is worth introducing some of the early drills to get goalkeepers used to the fundamental movement to offer support.

Can you name an exercise which is particularly key to this session?

The first drill is a great introduction for goalkeepers and shows the support position a goalkeeper can take once they have played the ball out. In this drill you can also introduce the concept of the goalkeeper dropping off to give them more time and space to deal with the backpass. It can also be progressed where the initial passer follows their pass and puts the goalkeeper under pressure. The goalkeepers will love testing their passing accuracy into the mini goals.



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