Functional Training for Your Team's Style of Play

The following session comes from Jay Miller and was presented at the 2016 Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic. Find out more about the Soccer Champions Coaches' Clinic.

Theme: (Short / Intermediate Passing)  Possession

Warm up - Create as many passes as possible 

Opposite line series

Organization:  2 lines of players facing each other 10 yds apart      

Procedure:   2 touch follow your pass  (create a slight angle), 1 touch follow your pass, 2 touch play and spin, 1 touch play and spin

Square series

Organization:  10yd x 10yd square, 5 players for each square

Procedure:  repeat the pattern illustrated in the diagram, 2 touch, give it and get it, 1 touch reverse the direction on coach's whistle 


Pattern series  (short passes / Intermediate passes)


  • Place 2 players at each position as shown in the diagram
  • The length of the pattern area is 30 yds 


  • The ball is passed counter clockwise around the 4 positions.  Players rotate the same direction after passing   
  • Options: 2 touch, 1 touch, give it and get it   

Coaching Pts:

  • Check away and back to receive the pass
  • Train as if you are in a live game

Possession 5 v 5 + 2    (Field 50 yds x 35 yds)


  • 5 players on each team + 2 neutral players                                          
  • 10 uninterrupted passes = 1 pt.


  • Players 3 touch, neutral players 2 touch.  Progress to 2 touch, neutral players 1 touch
  • Later add small goals: Scoring:  8 passes = 1 pt,  goal = 1 pt.
  • Place players in a shape comparable to their 11 aside positions

Coaching Pts:

  • Stress maintaining a good team shape
  • Position your body open to the field
  • Whenever possible play in the direction you are facing

6 v 6 + GKs  to large goals

6 v 6 + gks


  • Field: 55 yds x 50 yds, 2 large goal
  • Players 6 per team
  • Goal = 1 pt.


  • 3 touch
  • Free play

Coaching Pts:

  • Maintain a good team shape.  Play quickly
  • The object  is to score (always have shooting in mind)