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Individual skills: chipping the ball

Chipping the ball is a difficult skill but one that reaps benefits if players can do it. I like to get my players to chip the ball at practice into the hands of their goalkeeper or teammates so they know how to chip over congested areas of the pitch or chip an advancing goalkeeper to score a goal.

When your players are switching play they are often faced with a pack of opponents – and sometimes their teammates – in the way of a cross-field pass and a chip over the chaos is a fabulous way to create and use the space. It is a skill that you can give to your players as homework getting them to chip the ball into a target like a bucket. Great fun and something you can get your players to do when they are not playing due to the ups and downs of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

I have two players who go to futsal training and they use the chip to great effect – it is also a great way to get players to clear up the balls at the end of training!

Try these sessions that I use when I’m getting my players to adopt the skill of chipping the ball.

Let’s start with How to chip the ball – players need to hone their technique so they can use it in a match when they are 1v1 with the goalkeeper or chip the ball over the defence.

Now we can move on to simple chipping exercises. Flick n chips will increase players’ “feel” for the ball, making them more comfortable with passing and receiving.

For younger players you need to give them something that is fun but gets across the idea of chipping the ball. Chippy is a great session to have fun with younger players.

Finally at the end of your coaching sessions this is a great way to get players to pick up all the balls … by chipping them into the ball bag. How to teach chipping is one of my favourite sessions and one you can try yourself or get your fellow coaches to try to do!

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