Coach throw in skills to help players keep possession

This soccer coaching session is all about keeping possession from throw-ins. Teams should benefit when they get a throw-in and be positive in their distribution of the ball. Learning how to become effective at keeping possession could provide your team with another route to goal.

It is vital you work out tactics for taking throw-ins so your players have options wherever they are on the pitch. Coaches often neglect this crucial area even though they know their team is going to get a lot of throw-ins during a game.

Simple movement combinations can be the difference, not just between retaining or losing possession, but also in your team’s ability to create crossing opportunities and scoring goals.

soccer coaching drill to get players practising throw-in skills

How to set up the soccer (football) drill

Mark out a 40 yards by 50 yards playing area for this soccer drill and use your whole squad.

How to run the drill

  • Split the team into three groups (throwers, receivers and defenders). The receivers work for one minute.
  • The first 30 seconds are unopposed and the receivers must make runs to receive a throw and pass back to the thrower.
  • The next 30 seconds are opposed, with the defenders coming out to pressure the receivers on each throw.
  • Rotate the three groups so they experience each role.

How to develop the throw-in drill

  • Split the pitch in to two halves. This is important when working on the team’s effectiveness at retaining possession as it only allows three players to work in each throw-in area. By splitting the pitch, you can have two throw-ins at the same time.
  • You need only use one goal which the two halves of the pitch can share – it will also give your goalkeeper a good workout.
  • One player should be positioned in line with, or deeper than, the server. One should be down the wing and one should be diagonal to the server.
  • All three players should be 10 yards to 15 yards from the server in order to give themselves space to receive. You can now look at various movements to receive and then combine a 4v3 (the thrower joins in after throwing) to get a cross or shot on goal.

Use the drill skills in a game

Remove the central line from the pitch and play a game where the defenders have one player less. The attacking team must stick to the three players and 15 yards rules introduced in the development.

But now they have the added bonus that, due to the team holding its shape, a quick switch of play can find a fourth team-mate unmarked and in space to attack. Rotate the sides of the playing area that the throw-ins are taken.


Click here to get more easy-to-use soccer (football) coaching plans by suBSCribing to Smart Sessions soccer coaching plans in core or advanced versions.

Click here for a soccer drill to get players turning throw-ins into goals.

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