Soccer: Don't Bounce the Soccer Throw-In

Dick Moss, Editor

There's a mistake that many beginners make when throwing in the ball from out of bounds. They bounce the toss because they're afraid that a direct throw through the air will hurt the receiver or be too hard to control.

Direct Passes are Better
In fact, a bouncing pass is harder to control. Instead, when making the throw-in, your players should pass directly to their teammate's foot, on the side away from the defender. Another good alternative is a throw to the head.  For the teammate, these options are just like receiving a kicked pass.

A direct pass will arrive faster and is easier to judge than one hopping off the turf.  In contrast, throws to the torso or bouncing off the ground usually require two or more touches to control. This delay gives the defender extra time to steal the ball.

Who Receives the Throw-in
When choosing the receiver, the best option is a teammate who's in position to immediately pass it back to the thrower. This quick “wall pass” is a great way to remove the ball from defenders and back to a player who's already looking downfield.

1. Jay Martin, Coaching Soccer the NSCAA Way; A Complete Guide (Best of Soccer Journal)
2. Gordon Strachan, Getting Started in Soccer, Sterling Publishing, 1994.

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