The passing diamond

The passing diamond is a coaching move that, while simple in its set-up, is crucial for players in rehearsing passing accuracy and tempo. It is also important for general ball work and encouraging the use of both feet.

Modern day football is built upon a constant passing game, so the ability to conduct simple and fast-paced passing moves has never been more important.

We work on this session three times a week, varying and changing elements so as to always keep it fresh and relevant for our players.



8×8 yards up to

25×25 yards


Cones, balls

Number of Players

16 players, 4 on each cone

What do I get the players to do?

We place four players on each corner cone and begin passing using two balls, starting at the top and bottom tips of the diamond. The session is unopposed and should be up at game tempo. Passes should always be made along the floor. The ball goes clockwise from A to B, and C to D. Each player always follows his pass, joining the back of the next clockwise queue.

After every couple of minutes we will change passing direction. This ensures that mentally, players remain alert at all times, while on a practical level, they are working both feet during the exercise.


• The ball is passed clockwise around the diamond


• The player always follows the ball to join the back of the next queue


• Play is reversed frequently to ensure players are alert and that passes are made with both feet

What are the key things to look for technically/tactically?

We encourage players to take ownership of the quality of their passes because if a pass is misplaced then one half of the entire session is delayed.

We’re also looking for players to maintain concentration despite the move’s repetition. T he first touch when receiving the ball should be outside the body, and the ball should be received on the back foot.

How do I progress the session?

The natural progression for the passing diamond is to get players passing across the playing area as well as around it. Here, A passes to B, who then sets it back to A, and a pass is made across the diamond to cone C. C and D perform the same move, with C passing across the diamond to the players on cone A. Because the original passing players A and C are on the move, the second player in the A and C cone queues is the man who receives the cross-diamond pass.

Rotate direction after each cross-diamond pass so that players on all cones are active.

We can step-up the physical requirement by asking the player who receives the ball on a cone to check, running two yards away to another marked cone before heading back to receive.


• In the progression, a one-two is made…


• … before the ball is played to the opposite cone






• Cone players can also ‘check’ back ensuring a high intensity is maintained

How would you put this into a game situation?

Construct a simple ‘keep ball’ exercise in a large playing area between two teams, 8v8. This will give them the opportunity to rehearse the basic yet essential elements of passing and ball control that they
have learned in this

Share this

Follow us