Number of players: full team, three players working
Age range: 15-16
Description: Time and time again Beckham will hit a diagonal ball right to one of his teammates feet, chest or head. Let's see if your team can imitate him with a diagonal pass across the field.
Setup one line for the players crossing the ball like Beckham, and then one line on the other side of the field for those receiving the switch. Players who are switching the ball use their right foot to cross the ball across the field and should lead the player with the pass by playing the ball to his or her left foot on the other side of the field. Players receiving the ball should make sure their first touch is down the line or protecting the ball away from a passive defender.
The player receiving the pass should have their body in between the ball and the sideline. This way, if the defender tries to tackle them or win the ball it will go out of bounds and they'll still have possession of the ball in a real game.
Start the drill with a player about five yards away from the crosser, this player will pass the ball to the player who is trying to do The Beckham Switch. Ball must be in the air the whole time or bounce just in front of the player who's receiving the ball. And you want the pass to lead the player, you don't want to the attacking player to have to stop or go back for the ball. With Beckham, he whips the ball across the field with the inside of this right foot but doesn't follow through. Rather, he keeps his foot planted to the ground so the ball has more back spin.
Today, you'll see Beckham serving a long ball across the field to Landon Donvoan when he's playing with the LA Galaxy, or to Pato or Ronaldinho when he's playing with AC Milan.
Here's a long pass to Landon when he's playing for the LA Galaxy in a friendly match against AC Milan:
Equipment needed: A practice vest for the defender and two cones to mark the lines for the players serving the ball and then the player receiving the ball.