6 v 6 Visual Cues and Passing Windows (Or Lanes)

The following comes from Jeff Tipping's book, “Drills and Exercises to Develop the Elite American Soccer Player©.”

This book focuses on sessions and exercises which address the issues specific to American players. It is a book for coaches at every level but, especially, coaches of players aged U9 to U14. This is a vitally important age when players are, without even knowing it, making decisions on which sport they will choose to play. Preview


The ideal is to have two teams both playing a 1 – 3 – 2.  When both teams play that shape the coach can get a substantial amount of teaching done. This model teaches the players to read the passing windows from backs into midfielders or from midfielders into forwards. The optimum passing windows are clearly marked below. The three midfielders have three basic passing windows;

  1. Between the opposing right center forward and left touchline
  2. Between the two center forwards
  3. Between the opposing left center forward and the right touchline.

The reason keeping the 1 – 3 – 2 shape is important is because it teaches the visual cues of when to pass the ball forward and when to pass the ball sideways. Having 3 versus 2 will present multiple visual cues as to whether the passing lanes are open or not.

6 v 6 visual cues and passing windows