Long throws made easy

From being an almost forgotten tactic, the merits and appreciation of the throw-in have really now filtered back into the consciousness of coaches throughout the game.

During the past couple of seasons, the long throw has become a supply line that can be every bit as effective as a free kick or corner.

Indeed some English Premier League defenders have been known to put the ball behind for a corner rather than face a throw-in from the likes of Stoke City’s Rory Delap and others.

If you take the time to pick out a couple of designated long-throw specialists in your team, you too can create a unique advantage against the opposition, and your team will most likely revel in the ensuing chaos that a ball delivered at low trajectory can provide!

This is a simple drill that aims to perfect technique and you’ll soon notice the players whose skills can be fine-tuned.

Long throws made easy


How to set it up:

  • Ensure your players have performed a thorough upper body warm-up.
  • Set up a line of players along the touchline of the pitch.
  • Each player has a ball.
  • Players should dry the ball with a towel or their shirt if it’s wet.

Getting started:

  • Each player’s hands should be spread out wide on either side of the ball, slightly behind the centre.
  • Players should take a short run-up holding the ball in front of them, then plant a firm leg and quickly whip the ball behind their head and throw it by swivelling over the planted leg.
  • Remember to make sure players stay within the rules for a throw-in – namely that when they plant their front foot, it must be behind or touching part of the line, with their back foot on the floor (something which is made easier if they drag their toe).
  • Get your players to aim at certain targets and remember that Rory Delap’s success is as much based on direction as it is length.

Why this works:

Even professional footballers produce foul throws, so technique is everything. This move is designed to show that the throw-in must be seen as a positive attacking option and not just a way of getting the ball back into play.

Youth teams in particular can benefit a great deal from long throws, especially into the penalty area, where the ball is coming in at a much flatter angle than it does from a free kick or corner.

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