Friday, 19 October 2012

Types of Passing in Soccer

Passing the ball in soccer is one of the key skills to master. Good passing leads to increased possession and a greater chance of victory in a match, because without the ball, how can you expect to score a goal? Here is some advice on good technique when passing the ball short or long.

Soccer is a fast-paced game requiring speed, good footwork skills and accurate passing. The kind of pass you choose to execute depends on the defense and positioning of your opponents. Some passes are used to create a strong offensive drive and to create scoring opportunities while defensive passes are used to slow down the game or to maintain possession of the ball when under pressure. A good soccer player has the ability to kick several types of passes.

Types of Passing

1. Push Pass
Sometimes referred to as a direct pass, this is probably one of the most-used passes in soccer. It tends to be a safe pass, and is typically executed when you're near teammates. The best technique for the push pass is to first plant your non-kicking foot alongside the ball and point it in the direction you want the ball to go. When you contact the ball, use the inside of your kicking foot. You want to hit the middle of the ball with your kicking heel down and the toe pointing up.

  • Keeping the ball on the deck improves accuracy greatly and is easier for team-mates to control the ball.
  • A ball travelling through the air takes longer to control then one that is rolling along the ground.
  • Make sure to hit the ball with the large area at the side of your foot in the intended direction.
  • Always looks up for support and know where your team-mates are before making a pass.
  • The head should be steady with eyes on the ball at all times. Always keep your calm and never panic.
  • The moment you see a team-mate open and wanting the ball, do not hesitate to play him a short, simple pass.

2. Swerve Pass
Swerve passes, played with the outside of the foot (young players understand this area as the ‘little toe’) are much easier to disguise than push passes because the passer’s body shape is a lot more closed throughout the movement. The ball swerves because spin is applied to the pass, this means outside arch passes can be used to ‘bend’ the ball around defenders. Outside of the Foot Swerve Passes can also be played whilst running, without breaking stride. This means that a well-timed swerve pass can catch the defense off-guard and release a teammate. With practice this technique can also be developed and used for long passes and as a useful finishing technique.

  • Plant your non-kicking foot slightly behind the ball and far enough to the side to allow a full swing of your kicking leg. Both the knee and foot of your non-kicking leg should be pointed a few degrees away from your target.
  • Keep your head steady with your eyes looking down at the point of contact on the ball.
  • Turn your kicking foot and your knee across your body. Point your toes down slightly and ‘lock’ your ankle.
  • Strike the ball with the outside of your foot – find the flat surface near where your little toe starts.
  • Point of contact on the ball is just to the inside of centre and halfway up (the horizontal mid line . Kicking off-centre makes the ball spin away from your foot and gives the ball its bend/swerve. Kicking through the horizontal mid line keeps the ball on the floor.
  • Kick across the ball and continue your swing up and across your body to add power and more swerve.
3. Long Pass
The long pass (Lofted Pass) is used to clear the ball to the opposite side of the field to a teammate who is open and has no defenders around him. This changes the area of play and gives your team the opportunity to begin a counterattack. Executing a long pass involves hitting the ball with accuracy and power. A good technique to use is to lock the ankle of your kicking foot, hit the middle of the ball with the laces of your cleats and follow through toward your teammate with your kicking leg.

Long passes usually cover greater distances than the side-footed pass. It is ideal for counter attacking, catching the defense off guard and switching sides of play. To perform a long pass, try to strike the ball with the top of your foot with the instep. Strike from the bottom of the ball upwards, this will send the ball flying through the air. Hit the ball lower and get your foot right under the ball and remember to follow through as this is where you will generate most of the power for the long pass. Keep in mind that long passes are easier to intercept then a short, sharp passes along ground. But when done correctly, can create a golden opportunity on goal.

4. Back Pass

This is a defensive pass and is used when defending players have closed off all forward passing possibilities. It is also used when defenders put pressure on the offensive ball carrier, hoping to steal the ball or cause a passing error. The back pass is a way to neutralize the pressure and still maintain control of the ball. The ball is passed backward with the heel or sole of your foot to another teammate.The backward pass can also be used to initiate some dangerous attacking combinations.

5. Piercing Pass
The piercing pass is also referred to as a tunnel pass or a through pass. The opportunity to use a piercing pass does not happen often when playing against a good defense because the defenders typically position themselves to avoid an open space, or tunnel, from the ball carrier to her attacking teammate. This pass requires good timing between teammates because the receiving teammate must not be in an offside position when the ball is passed. This is where the receiving player is closer to the goal than the last defender. When the opportunity does arise, the attacker quickly passes the ball, penetrating the defenders. This creates a scoring potential.

Piercing passes are usually executed without a preparation touch and require good timing. Ball movement in general leads to the opening of passing lanes. Organized defense men will move as a whole unit, accordingly to the ball. If given the appropriate time, they will adjust, making it nearly impossible to move the ball directly through. If the ball, however, is played along the width of the defensive formation, opportunities for penetrating passes will likely arise until the opponents can rearrange. In practice, ball movement may be restricted by pressure. Therefore, our attention is not only on penetrating the defense but also on avoiding the direct pressure. Be on the lookout for piercing passes in a 45 to 90 degree angle of the direction in which the first defender (the one who's pressuring the ball) is headed. Just by beating that first "on ball" opponent, the entire defense line can be left unbalanced and would have to regroup.

6. Wall Pass
This is a combination pass involving two teammates and is sometimes referred to as a one-two pass. This type of pass involves a wing player and an inside teammate. The wing player's position usually runs along the outside of the field. When the wall pass is executed properly, the wing player passes the ball from the outside of the field to a teammate playing a position toward the inner part of the field. This player acts as a wall and quickly passes the ball back in front of the wing player. Wall passes are most effective against slower defenses.

Most chances for wall passes happen on the wing, as the ball is played inside and back out. The only way to stop a wall pass would be with careful and thigh marking where each defender follows his man instead of the ball. Going around the attacker, whose job is to set up his friend, is another method for interrupting this play. That however requires strength, speed and is only possible when the first pass is slow.

7. Chip Ball Pass

Forward pass

The chip through pass is similar to the through ball but instead of passing the ball along the ground, you chip it over your opponents. This is harder to do and requires you to be more skillful and have a more of a understanding with your team mates. To execute a chip ball, plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball. Look up to spot your team-mates and then, with the instep of your foot, kick the bottom of the ball to elevate it off the ground. As soon as you chip the ball, your team mate will have to run at the exact same time into space. Timing is important as it could be the difference between being onside or offside.

Turnover combinations
Do not confuse turnover combinations with taking the ball from an opponent. Turnover combinations occur between two teammates, where the player with the ball simply leaves it to the other one. Using turnovers is best in packed areas of the field, where the two attacking teammates are bunched up closely. Turnovers can be time consuming when dealing against a single opponent and are best against defending players who have a numerical advantage. These types of combinations are usually safe, because the ball remains between two players who are facing each other.

Performing turnovers is not only confusing opposing defenses but may also decrease the visibility of the opposing goalkeeper. Some turnovers are done with the use of physical force. Stronger attackers, for example, may simply stop the ball and push off their marker just to clear space for an oncoming teammate who can shoot. Deceptive turnovers can also be used. The ball carrier for example can fake a dribble and runoff without the ball while his teammate collects it. Fake or "dummy" turnovers are also possible. In such, the potential ball receiver simply runs by, causing the defenders to at least step back.
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