Soccer Passing Drills and Passing Technique
Soccer passing drills are essential for the development of ball handling skill and controlled passing on the field. But in spite of the core benefits of correct passing technique, a surprising number of youth soccer drills and sports programs neglect the finer details of these moves and leave soccer players on their to own to develop passing skills through practice and repetition. There’s nothing wrong with practice, but if soccer players are repeating a set of passing drills over and over, they should be receiving and returning the ball correctly each time so they can develop beneficial habits and iron out bad ones.
In the video below, Christian Duke from KbandsTraining.com takes viewers through a set of soccer passing drills designed to build reflexes and coordination for both high and low exchanges of the soccer ball. Soccer players can benefit from these pointers and practice sets as they look for ways to maintain control over the ball. And soccer coaches can incorporate these moves into a set of youth soccer drills that can become part of any daily or weekly training session.
Before the explanation and demonstration portion of the video, watch as Christian maneuvers the ball for a few minutes using his instep and the top surface of the foot. These are the two most important areas of contact for ground passes and long drives. As soccer players gain skill using soccer scoring, soccer juggling, and soccer passing drills like these, the ultimate goal will be instinctive foot placement and automatic control over the point of contact between the foot and the soccer ball.
Soccer Passing Drills: Passing on the Ground
Passing on the ground means keeping the ball low and controlled and following through on a direct line from the current position of the ball to the target. Skills like these are necessary for short distance passes that keep up with the pace of the game while keeping the ball under the soccer player’s control.
As the soccer player approaches the ball, the non-kicking foot, or plant foot, should be placed beside the ball and pointed in the direction of motion. With the plant foot aimed toward the target, the other foot should move forward and connect with the ball at the instep, or the inward curve on the side of the foot. But the actual point of contact between the foot and the ball should happen at the front end of the instep, not squarely in the curve. Viewers of the video can take note as Christian points to the specific are of the instep that maximizes control over the ball during the pass.
The soccer player approaches the ball, places the plant foot in the direction of the target, and touches the ball with the instep of the kicking foot. Ideally, the players and teams can take advantage of a wall like the one in the video which they can use to bounce the ball back during this series of soccer passing drills. Like Christian does in the video, players can use the right foot to send the ball toward the wall with a controlled motion, receive it on the return, and send it back again with the left foot.
Players can continue this soccer passing drill about ten times per leg, for a total of about twenty alternating passes. Soccer players should stay closer than a distance of about five yards from the wall so they can concentrate on control rather than force during the pass. And coaches should keep a close eye on technique and make sure players are placing the plant foot properly before making the connection between the ball and the kicking foot.
Soccer Passing Drills: Long Distance Passing
During the second set of soccer passing drills in this series, the ball will cover a greater distance, but ideally the soccer player will maintain control even as the force of connection with the ball increases. For these drills, the approach will remain the same as the plant foot lands beside the ball pointing in the direction of the target. But the kicking foot will strike the ball on the top surface, where the laces are.
When the laces make contact with the ball, the ball will lift off the ground and travel a greater distance, so for this set of drills, the soccer player should back up and stand at least ten yards away from the wall. The player will send the ball toward the wall with the right foot, receive it on the bounce, and send it back again with the left foot. This move should be repeated twenty times with alternating legs, like the previous set of soccer passing drills. Again, coaches should watch closely to make sure players are making a strong and controlled connection between the ball and the laces. Both distance and control will increase if the player can lift the ball up on impact and create space between the ball and the ground.
Viewers of the video will note how Christian takes a few steps back from the kicking point to receive the ball after each bounce. This gives him enough room to start over at each kick and approach the ball with proper technique before sending it back toward the wall. He takes a few preparatory steps between each pass to make sure his feet are in position, and then he sends the ball forward with just enough force to give him control over the return. These drills require practice, but if they’re incorporated into a training program at least once or twice per week, players will see strong increases in their passing skills.
Soccer Passing Drills: Final Notes
For more soccer-specific videos addressing the finer points of technique and ball handling skill, soccer players and soccer coaches can feel free to visit the training tab above. The site offers a wide range of speed, agility and passing drills presented by Christian Duke and the other soccer experts on the Kbands Training team. These video clinics can help teams increase their scoring potential by developing speed, accuracy, and control on the soccer field.
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