Keeping possession of the ball is critical for success in soccer. This will be accomplished with quick and accurate passing between players, giving the opponent fewer opportunities to steal the ball. How to accomplish short passes:<P class=lists>
1. The foot not kicking the ball should be planted alongside the ball at the time of impact.
2. The hips and shoulder should be square to the player receiving the pass. An easy explanation for younger players is to have their belly button pointing at their target.
3. The kicking foot should be turned out and the ball struck with the inside of the foot.
4. The kicking leg should follow through towards the target.<P class=copy>
For younger players, you will need to emphasize that the receiving player will be more able to trap the ball if it remains on or near the ground. It is also important that players can do this with both left and right feet, and with both the inside and outside of the foot.
The most common errors resulting in inaccurate passes are:
- <LI>Bad placement of the non-kicking foot.
<LI>Hips, shoulders, and bellybutton not square to target.
<LI>Not keeping the ankle and foot stiff through impact.
<LI>Not following through to the target. </LI>
<HR noShade SIZE=1><P class=copy>Shooting and long passes:
Power and loft of the ball are the two critical elements here. To loft the ball and apply more power, the player should make contact with the ball with their instep or the top of the foot. For younger players, the term ‘shoelaces’ has the most meaning. Here’s how:<P class=lists>
1. The foot not kicking the ball should be planted behind and beside the ball slightly at the point of impact. This allows the energy of the forward weight transfer to be generated before contact is made with the ball. <P class=lists>2. The player will need to point his toe to the ground as the kicking foot is moved forward, which will also requiring bending the knee.<P class=lists>
3. The kicking foot should make contact with the lower two-thirds of the ball. The degree to which the toe is pointing down will determine the amount of loft influenced on the ball.
<P class=lists>4. The kicking leg should follow through towards the target.