How to coach throw ins to young players

Every throw-in you get (and that could be 20 or more during the course of a match) should be an opportunity to launch a fresh attack.

But, all too often, possession is literally thrown away by players who don’t know what to do when they’ve got the ball in their hands.

How to take a throw-in

  1. Hold the ball behind your head. Your hands should be behind the ball and the fingers spread so that your hands look like the letter “W”.
  2. Young (U5-U8) players should stand on or behind behind the sideline with their feet together and about a shoulder width apart. If they are allowed to take a run up they will almost certainly lift their back foot off the ground. If that happens the ref will call a foul and give the throw to the opposition.
  3. Older players can take a run up but they should be encouraged to drag the toes of their back foot along the ground in the delivery stride.
  4. Scan the field – where are your players? If you throw the ball to them will they have time to control it before an opposing team player closes them down?
  5. Bend your back as the ball is released if you need to throw the ball a long way.
  6. A throw in is a pass. So be accurate and don’t throw the ball too hard.
  7. Be decisive. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to find someone to throw to. Try to throw the ball back into play as quickly you can.

Throw-in tactics

Generally speaking, throw-ins should be taken quickly, before the defending team has time to organize.

For that reason you should not have just one or two designated throwers. If you do, you’ll waste time waiting for one of them to run halfway across the field to take the throw. Instead, encourage the nearest player to the ball to take the throw quickly.

The simplest throw-in tactic is to throw the ball to a team-mate who returns it to the thrower and runs into space for a return pass.

Good movement is the key to success here. The receiver needs to give herself time and space by moving away from the player taking the throw-in then quickly moving back into the space created by the first movement.

Long throws can also be an effective tactic, especially if they are taken from near to your opponent’s penalty box and your players are coached to throw the ball into space for a player to run onto.

Try this great throw-in game from Keith Boanas to get your kids practicing plenty of throws.