Magic Diamond Passing Drill – Dramatically Improves Players Technical Skill

The “Magic Diamond Passing Drill” is taken from Coach Dave Brandt and his DVD, Game Action Soccer Drills for Technical Ability.  It is a drill that can be done at any age and is easy to set up and implement.

Set Up: The set up is very simple.  You need an area that is 20 yards by 20 yards and six cones.  Place two cones 20 yards apart and line up 2-3 players behind each cone.   Next, place two cones three yards apart to form a gate in the middle of your box on the far outer edges.

Set up as many 20 x 20 boxes as you need in order to give all the players as many touches as possible.  The fewer players in each line, the more of a conditioning drill this becomes.

Objective: The objective of the drill is to improve ball handling speed – the time it takes from the player’s first touch to the second touch, as well as ball speed and accuracy.  There are also dribbling components to the drill.

Players:  Have all your players do this drill, even your goal keepers.

Coaches:  It’s good to have a coach watching each box so you can monitor and teach the technical aspect of the drill, as well as ensure that the players are going at game speed.

Diagrams:  Let’s look at the five progression stages to the Magic Diamond Passing Drill:

Step 1:  Technical Passing

Divide your team into two lines of 2-3 each and duplicate the Magic Diamond in other 20 x 20 boxes so your players get maximum touches.  The first phase of the drill is to have your players pass the ball to the player opposite them, control with a quick touch, and pass the ball back to the opposite cone with good ball speed.  Players then go to the end of the opposite line.


Step 2:  Dribble-Split

Now have the players on one side receive the pass and make a quick dribble through the gate.  They can go through either gate.  When they dribble through the gate they make a quick, accurate pass to the player in the opposite line, who then takes a controlling touch and passes with the same foot back through the two cones, just as he did in the first stage of this progression drill. Players then go to the end of the opposite line.


Step 3:  Dribble Through the Gate

Now have the players on one side receive the pass and make a quick dribble through the gate.  They would go in a clockwise direction and then switch to counter clockwise.  When they dribble through the gate they make a quick, accurate pass to the player in the opposite line, who then takes a controlling touch and dribbles through the opposite gate.

Make sure players are working at top speed, but under control.  Work on tight touches.

Players then go to the end of the opposite line.


Step 4:  Dribble 3 Touch

Now have the players on one side receive the pass and make a quick dribble through the gate.  They can go through either gate.  When they dribble through the gate they make a quick, accurate pass to the player in the opposite line, who then takes a controlling touch and dribbles through the opposite gate.

The progression between this and the last drill, is they only have 3 touches with their laces.  You can then have them use only the outside of the foot.

Make sure they do half the drill working on their left foot.

Make sure players are working at top speed, but under control.  Work on tight touches.

Players then go to the end of the opposite line.


Step 5:  3 Touch Total

Finally, give your players just three total touches to complete the Magic Diamond.  They will want their first touch a little wider and more directed at an angle to the gate.  The second touch is an explosive dribble through the gate.  And the final touch is a pass to the feet of their teammate in the opposite line.

Make sure they do half the drill working on their left foot.

Make sure players are working at top speed, but under control.


If you would like to see this drill coached live by David Brandt, please check out his DVD, Game Action Soccer Drills For Technical Ability. There are several more great technical drills on the DVD that you can implement so your team dramatically improves your passing, receiving, and dribbling technical skills.