December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
Following are several examples of passing techniques a player can utilize.
Push Pass: Kicking the soccer ball with the inside of the foot is the most accurate method of passing. It is also the easiest passing method a soccer player will learn. The approach of the player to the ball should always be in a straight line behind the ball, not at an angle, where a player can lose balance and accuracy.
The "push pass" should be used mainly over shorter distances because the majority of the power is coming only from the leg striking the ball and not from the entire body. Often players become too comfortable using the inside of the foot to push pass and try to serve balls over longer distances, on the ground, or even in the air, and they are unsuccessful.
Instep drive: Kicking "with the laces" is the most powerful method of passing a ball. When using the instep, a player is attempting to pass the ball over longer distances. Here, though, the most common mistakes at all levels come into play; toes not pointed down and/or ankle not locked. The approach should also be slightly angled, allowing the player a full backswing. In addition, the height of the kick will be determined by the player's moving the upper body forward, over the ball.
Defenders will often use the instep pass when bypassing the midfield to connect with their forwards. Midfielders will use the instep pass to change the point of attack with a long, powerful pass from one flank to the other. Forwards can use the instep drive when shooting on goal.
Lofted pass: The lofted pass is a skill used in many aspects of the game of soccer. Goalkeepers or defenders use it when taking goal kicks; defenders, on occasion, when clearing a ball out of a danger area. Attackers will use it when crossing a ball, and it also can be used when taking free kicks.
The priority is height; therefore, the player's body position should be leaning away and back from the ball. Also, the instep of the foot, "with the laces," should strike the ball through the bottom half, making it rise. The player should also hit through the middle of the ball to avoid pulling or slicing.
Chipping: Unlike other passing techniques, chipping the ball allows for little or no follow-through. The kicking action is a simple "jab" under the bottom half of the ballwitht he top of the kicking toe. This pass is advantageous over shorter distances because, like the push-pass, little power is generated from the body to the ball. Often, players will use a chip to get over or behind an opponent when other passing alternatives are not available.
© 2001 by April Kater and Robert "Butch" Lauffer
Article reprinted with permission from womenssoccer.com.