With so much emphasis on playing a short passing game, some youth players cannot hit an accurate long ball, because they never practise the skills. But it's a tactic all players should be aware of. The following soccer drills will help young players work on these skills.
Watch any professional match and you will see one or two long balls which put attackers through on goal – providing moments of great excitement.
Making long passes work
I’m not talking about a hoof upfield over the heads of the opposition and a charge after it. A long pass, well executed, can be a clever way of counter attacking against your opponents.
Practise a soccer drill with your defenders playing a long pass up to one of your wingers so they can run onto it and cross it into the box. Make sure all your players know their roles in this one.
- When the long pass is played to a winger, they will head for the penalty area, but will often want supporting players so they can pass to them.
- When an attacker is put through players need to follow them in to put away possible rebounds.
Put your best foot forward
The way in which you move the ball depends on several things:
- Where is it going?
- What you want it to do when it gets there?
- Which players are in the way?
Increase your team’s chances of success by fine-tuning your players’ skills as passers. This will significantly increase your team’s chances of success.
Key soccer coaching tips:
- Communicate so the pass reaches the receiver.
- Control so your player makes the most of a long pass.
Run your players through a long pass breakaway move like this one:
- Player A kicks long to player C, past the defender B.
- C pushes the ball forward and crosses for player D to run and attack the cross attempting to score.
- Repeat on left side starting with player E.