3 Simple Through Ball Soccer Drills For Kids

Through ball is an important soccer passing skill that your kid must learn to master as early as possible. If your kid cannot pass a through ball straight to you or a teammate then it’s time you train your kid in these 3 simple through ball soccer drills for kids.

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What is a through-ball pass?

A through ball is a simple pass but one that is strategically placed to put the ball in front of your running teammate, ideally to beat the defender and score a goal.

By placing the ball into the gap, you or your running teammate can reach the ball and strike it into the goal or make another through ball to a teammate to score.

Here is a video of USWNT’s first score against Colombia on 29th January 2021. They made 2 through-ball passes to score their first goal.

How effective is through ball passes?

When utilized correctly your team can score goals with a through ball.

First of all, it saves a lot of time getting the ball to the midfielders and the strikers instead of trying to dribble past defenders.

Especially during an offense when the opponents’ defenders had moved upfield thus creating a gap between the goalkeeper.

As soon as a teammate wins the ball he or she pushes it between the defenders into the gap where a running forward follows through and strikes it into the goal.

This leaves the defenders no time to retreat to defend their goal.

In games where the offside rule is applied, through-ball passes beat the rule. But this is not applied to kids’ soccer yet.

Secondly, it encourages accurate passing skills and teamwork with colleagues.


Training tips

  1. Always warm up, stretch, and warm-down
  2. Do the drill properly even if it means slowing down
  3. Rest and hydrate after each drill
  4. You might want to read how to kick a soccer ball before coming back to this post

Equipment needed

  1. Soccer ball – at least 3 balls so you don’t have to go and collect the ball after each drill
  2. At least 5 cones
  3. A portable goal
  4. Some training space
  5. Get at least a partner or a parent to help

1. Simple through ball pass

Use the diagram below as the guide on how to set the drill but it can be a 10 x 10 feet play space for young kids.

This drill requires 2 players called P1 and P2 respectively

Place a cone 5 feet in front of the goal and place P1 and P2 at least another 5 feet behind the cone.

Imagine that the cone is a defender so don’t hit it with the ball.

You can use 2 cones as a goal if you don’t a portable goal yet.

Now the drill is ready to kick off.

Drill Steps

  1. P1 stands with the ball and makes a through ball to the space between the goal and the cone
  2. Simultaneously, P2 runs past the cone to meet the ball
  3. P2 strikes the ball into the goal
  4. Repeat
simple through ball pass


  1. P2 must not get behind the cone before the ball arrives because it will be considered off-side.
  2. P2 must communicate with P1 so that the timing of the pass is right
  3. Switch roles between P1 and P2
  4. Switch P1

2. Pass and run

Similar set up to drill 1 but P2 initiates the pass.

Using the same diagram above, P2 has the ball and passes it to P1 then runs to meet the ball.

Drill steps

  1. P2 stands with the ball, passes the ball to P1 then runs toward the cone
  2. P2 receives the ball and passes a through ball in front of the goal
  3. P2 receives the ball and strikes it into the goal


  1. P1 must not keep the ball but pushes it forward before P2 goes past the cone

3. 2 x through ball passes

This drill is a little more challenging than drills 1 and 2 as it requires both P1 and P2 to move forward.

This drill includes 2 through ball passes.

Line up the 3 cones as shown in the diagram.

treat the cones as defenders that the ball must not hit during the drill.

Drill steps

  1. P2 placed a through in front of cone 2
  2. P1 runs past cones 1 and 2 to meet the ball
  3. P1 placed another through ball in front of cone 3
  4. P2 runs to meet the ball and strike it into the goal
2 x through ball passes


  1. Both P1 and P2 will move forward
  2. Makes sure the ball arrives at the spot first before the player


Like I said through ball pass can be very effective for scoring goals and a nightmare for defenders.

While it looks simple to perform it is important that the 2 players communicate to understand what is expected from each other.

There is no use placing a through ball pass when your teammate is not expecting it.

So make sure the timing is right for both players otherwise they will easily lose the ball.

Happy training and be safe.

Related: 13 Best Soccer Training Equipment For Kids


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