Soccer coaching tips for throw in skills

How many times have you seen or had a referee award possession to the opposition after a player has carried out a throw-in incorrectly? If this is a frustrating and regular occurrence, use the following soccer drills and tactics to get your team working on these specific soccer skills.

It is part of the successful image of your team that your players can all throw the ball correctly. Especially now there are no competitive leagues for under-8s and below – use the time to focus on core soccer skills during training drills. It's a more professional approach and your players will benefit.

Throw in technique

Throw-ins are a core skill every outfield player should have. Here, we’ll deal with a basic short throw drill.

In this drill, tell your players to:

Use their fingers…

  • Use both hands to throw the ball.

  • Have index fingers and thumbs as close together as possible to form a ‘W’ shape.
  • To maintain control of the ball, spread the fingers and hold the ball firmly but comfortably.
  • Have ‘loose’ arms, elbows bent and flared out.
  • Take the ball back past the ears.
  • Release the ball immediately after it passes the front of the head.
  • Throw the ball from behind and over the head in a continuous motion.
  • Continue the throwing movement at the point of release.

…and their feet

  • Feet about shoulder-width apart, next to each other – or one foot in front of the other.

  • Part of each foot must be either on the touch-line or on the ground outside the pitch WHEN THE BALL IS RELEASED. So, for example, if the heels come off the ground, the toes must still make contact.

Drill tactics for throw-ins

In this drill, tell your players to:

  • Scan the pitch while collecting the ball.

  • Find a teammate.
  • If possible, throw the ball quickly back into play to stop defenders from getting set.
  • Throw the ball so that it is easy for a teammate to control – that means accurately, with the right pace and to their feet.

How to do it – The rules

Tell your players to remember:

  • Take the throw from where the ball went out of play.

  • Your teammates can’t be offside from a throw-in.
  • Another player has to touch the ball before the thrower can touch it again.
  • A goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
  • Opponents must stand more than 2 metres from the thrower.

Click here for some soccer drills to improve throw-in skills.