The third installment in our technical warm ups is Short Short Long. This is a very simple exercise, but I have seen vast improvements in teams that spends a few minutes on this exercise once a week. It can drastically improve your team’s one-touch passing and long distance passing. Put your players in groups of three. Then place the three players in a line with ten yards between them. A player on the outside plays a short pass to the middle player who is checking. The middle player plays a one-touch pass back. Then the outside player plays a one-touch pass to the far player and follows the pass. The middle player now switches to become the outside player. The far player plays a ball to the checking player (who used to be the outside player) and the sequence repeats itself. After a few minutes make it a bit bigger and again after a few minutes more make it longer for balls in the air. When you make it longer, you need to make it two-touch in order to allow the middle player to cover distance. This will also allow for a focus on receiving long balls. Demand that they play balls on the move, play sharp passes, and focus on receiving the ball cleanly from the air. In the video, you will notice after a few short sequences they make it bigger. As a side note, you are driving the concept of short short long in their head. The idea is that the rhythm of a game should be no more two short passes in an area before you play a longer pass. This prevents your opponent from squeezing the space with numbers and forcing you to play a ball into a tight space so they can win it.

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