Soccer Drills For Getting The Ball Wide | 8 Best Drills

In soccer, the quicker a team can attack, the more likely they are to create goal-scoring opportunities. When attacking teams want to try and get the ball wide as often as possible to help stretch the opposition team. This will either create chances from wide areas or allow more space for players in the middle. These are the best soccer drills for getting the ball wide.

These are the best soccer drills for getting the ball wide

I like to use these soccer drills to encourage my players to get the ball wide in soccer.

Soccer rondo for getting the ball wide

There are 6 soccer players in a square. 4 players are keeping the ball while the other 2 players are trying to score in either of the 2 goals
Soccer rondo for getting the ball wide

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to replicate a defending-to-attacking transition where you want to encourage the players to get the ball wide as quickly as possible to start a counter-attack.

Set up:

  • 7 x 7-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 pug goals
  • 6 players (4 possessing players, 2 defenders)

How the drill works:

In this soccer drill, the pug goals will represent a wide player and they should be placed opposite each other 5 yards on either side of the 7 x 7-yard square.

The possessing team has to try and keep the ball away from the 2 defenders, for every 5 passes that the possessing team makes they will get 1 point.

If the defending team can steal the ball and play the ball wide into either of the pug goals then the defending team will get 3 points.

If the defending team is able to force the possessing team into a mistake then they will get 1 point as well.

After 4 minutes swap the defender’s round

Coaching points:

  • Focus on closing down passing angles and pressing as pair to force the opposition into a mistake
  • Constantly scan around so you are aware of your positioning in relation to where the pug goal is
  • When a transition occurs try to use as few touches to get the ball into the pug goal as quickly as you can

Questions than can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you force the opposition into mistakes while taking away their passing options?
  • What can you do so you do o you always know where the pug goals are?
  • Why should you take as few touches as you can to get the ball into the pug goal?

Small-sided-soccer game for getting the ball wide

There are 6 soccer players on the pitch. The teams in the middle are trying to get the ball wide to get more points when they score
Getting the ball wide with a small-sided-game

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to encourage players to use the wide players when making attacks to go forward

Set up:

  • 20 x 15-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 goals
  • 6 players (2 neutral players and 2 teams of 2)

How the drill works:

Inside the area will be a 2v2, with 1 player on each team acting as a center midfielder and a striker, with the 2 neutral players will be on the sidelines on the pitch.

This will create a diamond shape for both teams, with the neutral players being on the same team as the possessing team.

To encourage players to get the ball wide, if a team is able to combine passes with just one of the neutral players and score a goal that goal will be worth 3 points instead of 1.

After 5 minutes swap the neutral players with a team in the middle, with the team getting the most points at the end of the 5 minutes being the winning team.

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Coaching points:

  • The neutral players should be moving up and down to create angles to receive the ball from the players in the middle
  • Players in the middle should receive the ball on the back foot in an open-body position
  • Once the pass has been to the wide player the players in the middle should look to move to immediately support them

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What can the neutral players do to make it easier for the players in the middle to pass to them?
  • How should the players in the middle receive the ball so it is easier to get the ball out wide?
  • Once a pass has been played out wide to a neutral player, what should the player in the middle do next?

3v2 for getting the ball wide

There are 3 attacking soccer players and 2 defending soccer players. The attacking team are trying to get the ball in to score in either of the 2 goals
3v2 soccer drill for getting the ball

Purpose:

The purpose of this soccer drill is to try to stretch the defenders by getting the ball wide to and exploit space in wide areas.

Set up:

  • 2 pug goals
  • 5 soccer balls
  • 7 x 10-yard area
  • 5 players (2 defenders, 3 attackers)

How the drill works:

The attackers will have 5 attempts to try and score in either of the 2 pugs in the corners.

If they are able to score in either of the pug goals they will 3 points.

However, if the defenders win the ball back and dribble past the opposite line then they will get 3 points.

The defenders will also get a point if they manage to force the ball out of bounds

If the ball goes out of bounds, the play will start with a new soccer ball.

The attacking players will set up as a group of 3, with a central midfielder, a left midfielder, and a right midfielder, with the defenders setting up as a left and right defender.

Once the 5 soccer balls have been used, the team with the most points will be the winner.

Coaching points:

  • Be patient in your build when trying to drag the opposition out of position
  • Once a gap opens up, quickly exploit the space with 1 and 2-touch passes
  • The central midfielder will act as the pivot player to change the points of attack

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • What approach must you take to draw the opposition defenders out of positions?
  • How can you quickly exploit the space when a gap opens up?
  • What is the role of the central midfielder in this drill?

Conditioned game for getting the ball wide in soccer

There are 2 teams of 5 with players in wide positions. The soccer players will then try and score from the wide positions.
Getting the ball wide with a conditioned game

Purpose:

The purpose of soccer drill is to encourage teams to get the ball wide in game-like scenarios with a reduction in pressure to allow for a greater success

Set up:

  • 15 x 20-yard area (with 2 vertical thirds 2 yards wide)
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 2 goals
  • 2 teams of 5 ( with 2 players from each side being wide players in the vertical thirds)

How the drill works:

This will be a regular game of soccer however each team will have two wide players in the vertical thirds of the pitch. each of the vertical thirds will best split in half meaning each wide player will have their own area.

The wide players are the only players who are allowed in the areas.

If a team can score a goal with the assist coming from the wide area then the goal will count as 3 points instead of 1.

As a progression, you can remove the middle section of the wide areas so there is a 1v1 in each wide area.

Coaching points:

  • The wide player should be looking to create angles to receive the ball
  • Try to get the ball wide as quickly as possible
  • Once the wide player receives the ball they should look to cross, if an option isn’t on to go forward they should look to change the point of the attack

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • If you are the wide player how can you help give your teammates an option on the ball?
  • When the team is in possession of the ball what should you be doing as soon as possible?
  • When should you look to change the point of attack and switch play?

Combination passing rotation for getting the ball wide

There are 3 soccer players in each half combining passes to get the ball wide
Give-and-go passes to get the ball wide

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to allow players to get a lot of repetition of a passing pattern that can be used to get the ball in soccer.

Set up:

  • 15 x 10-yard area
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 3 players

How the drill works:

To start this soccer drill 2 players will start on either end of the 10-yard area with one player in the middle.

One of the outside players will start with the ball and play a combination pass with the middle player, with the middle player moving to the outside.

They will then switch the ball to the opposite player and follow their pass.

Coaching points:

  • If you are receiving the ball you should check to the side to receive the ball
  • Players should take as few touche as possible to keep the passing sharp
  • Communicate with your teammates to let them know when/where you want to receive the ball

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you make it easier for your teammate to play a pass to you?
  • What can you d to move the ball quickly and sharply?
  • How do you know when and where your teammate wants to receive the ball?

2 goal game for getting the ball wide

There are 2 teams of 3 on the soccer pitch defending and attacking 2 goals. This is to help them get the ball wide
2 goal game for getting the ball wide

Purpose:

The purpose of the drill is to encourage them to get the ball out wide and chain the point of attack to score goals.

Set up:

  • 20 x 25-yard area
  • 4 pug goals
  • 2 teams of 3

How the drill works:

This will be a regular game of soccer however, the teams will be defending and attacking 2 goals in the corners instead of in the middle.

Both of the teams will set up with a central midfielder, a left midfielder, and a right midfielder.

Corner kicks will be taken from the middle part of the goal line.

Coaching points:

  • Change the point of attack and be patient with your build-up to drag the opposition out of position
  • When the wide players get the ball and see a space they must be confident with their dribbling ability to attack the space
  • Use sharp passes when getting it wide to quickly exploit the space

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can you drag the opposition players out of position to create space?
  • As a wide player, what should you look to do when you receive the ball?
  • How can you quickly exploit space as a team?

Possession game for getting the ball wide

There are 3 players trying to play in wide areas so they can switch the play and continue to keep possession
Possessing drill to get the ball wide

Purpose:

The purpose of the drill is to help teams keep possession by getting the ball wide and changing the point of attack.

Set up:

  • 15 x 10-yard area (split into 2 areas
  • 2 gates on the edge of the area in line with the hallway line.
  • 1 soccer ball
  • 6 players (4 possession players, and 2 defensive players)

How the drill works:

In one half of the pitch, there will be 3 possessing players and 2 defenders, with 1 possessing player in the other half.

Every time the possessing players make 5 passes they will get one point, however, if they are able to pass the ball or dribble the ball into the other half through the gates to the other player they will get 3 points.

Once the ball has been moved over to the other half through the gates, 2 possessing players and the 2 defenders will move over to the other half.

If the defenders win the ball they can score in either of the goals for 1 point.

Coaching points:

  • The possessing player in the other half needs to create passing lanes to receive the ball
  • Create gaps by moving the ball to pull the defenders out of position
  • Quickly transition and support the other player when the ball moves to the other half

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can the player in the opposite half help support their teammates on the ball?
  • If you are the possessing team how can you pull the defenders out of position?
  • Once the ball has been moved over to the opposite half what should you be doing?

Getting the ball wide to play out the back

1 soccer team is trying to play out the back and score any of the 3 goals on the halfway line.
Getting the ball wide to play out the back soccer drill

Purpose:

The purpose of this drill is to help the team get the ball wide to play out of the back

Set up:

  • Half a soccer pitch (relevant to age and number of players)
  • 1 goal
  • 3 pug goals
  • 8 players (1 goalkeeper, 4 outfield players, and 3 defenders)
  • 10 soccer balls

How the drill works:

The keeper will always start from the ball with a goal kick and the goal for the possessing team is to try and score in either of the pug goals on the halfway line.

If they score in either of the pug goals in the wide area it will be worth 3 points and 1 point for the pug goal in the center.

If the defending team can win the ball back and score a goal it will be worth 1 point.

The possessing team will have a center-back, a left-defender, a right-defender, and a central midfielder.

Every time the ball goes out the play will restart with the goalkeeper until the 10 soccer balls have been used.

Coaching points:

  • The left and right back should get as wide as possible to create more space in central areas
  • The central midfielder should find gaps between the opposition to the players to receive the ball
  • Try to play short when you have the time and space but look to play long if you do not

Questions that can lead to coaching points:

  • How can the fullbacks create space for themselves and their teammates?
  • What should the central midfielder do to try and receive the ball?
  • When should you try to play to feet/ play long?

Best soccer drills for getting the ball wide | Conclusion

These are my best soccer drills for getting the ball wide, however, this only one step in helping your team get better at attacking.

You need to have players that can comfortably pass, cross and control the ball with both feet as well as confident wide players who are always looking to receive the ball to create goal-scoring chances.

These soccer drills for crossing and finishing are great supplements to these soccer drills for getting the ball wide because once the ball goes wide you then want to capitalize with dangerous attacks.

Give-and-go soccer drills are a great way to help your team combine passes too!

Movement on and off the ball is essential as well, I like to use these 15 passing and moving drills with my players.

If you found these soccer drills for getting the ball wide helpful or know a coach that would, then please share it with them!

Want more drills? We have over 300+ soccer drills.

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Toby

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