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Soccer: Passing the Ball
Becoming a good passer is essential if you want to excel in soccer. Good passing can help a team to maintain control of the ball, can assist in scoring, and can help your team to win games.
Types of Soccer Passes
Not all good soccer passes are kicked directly to your teammates. Depending on the situation in the game, you will want to pass the ball differently.
The first type of soccer pass you learn is the direct pass. This is when you pass the ball directly to a teammate. A strong firm pass directly at the player's feet is best. You want to make it easy for your teammate to handle, but not take too long to get there.
Passes to Open Spaces
Passing into space is an important concept in making passes in soccer. This is when you pass the ball to an area where a teammate is running. You must anticipate both the direction and speed of your teammate as well as the opponents. Good communication and practice is key to good passes into space.
Wall Passes (One-Twos)
Now we are getting into more complex passing. You can think of a wall pass as bouncing a ball off of a wall to yourself. Except in this case the wall is a teammate. In wall pass you pass the ball to a teammate who immediately passes the ball back to you into open space. This helps to keep the defense off balance. This is a difficult maneuver and takes a lot of practice, but the results will make it worth the effort.
Sometimes you will have the opportunity to get the ball up the field quickly to an open teammate. A long pass can be used. On a long pass you kick the ball differently than with other shorter passes. You use an instep kick where you kick the soccer ball with your instep or on the shoelaces. To do this you plant your non-kicking foot a few inches from the ball. Then, with your kicking leg swinging back and bending at the knee, snap your foot forward with your toe pointed down and kick the ball with the instep of your foot.
Sometimes you will need to pass the ball backward. This is done all the time in professional soccer. There is nothing wrong with passing the ball back in order to get your offense set up and maintain control of the ball.
Tips to improve your soccer passing
- Practice signals and working with your teammates on passing. One example is to yell "wall" to a teammate when you want to run the wall pass. Of course, this will also tell the defense what you are doing, so maybe another trickier signal would be better.
- Learn to kick the ball in different ways. The inside of the foot is a good way to push the ball and make an accurate pass. The instep pass is good for longer passes. A chip pass can be used to loft the ball over the defense. The outside of the foot can be used to make a quick tricky flip pass.
- Crossing the ball across the front of the goal can lead to great scoring opportunities for your teammates.
- Work on your timing, power, and precision. They are all important to making good passes.
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