During a game of Soccer, try as we might, the ball is bound to go out once in a while. When this happens, your team must put the ball back in play with either a throw-in or corner kick. Rather than throwing or kicking it back in all willy-nilly, there are some tactics and strategies you may want to take advantage of to keep possession and even score a goal!
Once the ball is out of play along the side lines, this is an opportunity for your team to take back possession and work up the field to a goal. First and foremost, you want to be mindful of who is taking the throw-in and how far they can comfortably throw. It is not always about the furthest distance as there is more chance of it being intercepted. Use your throw-ins effectively with positioning and short, easy touches.
There are a few main points to remember when taking / receiving a throw-in.
- Get open and create space – your teammate throwing the ball should have a clear target either at your feet or in a place for you to run on to the ball. Standing flat-footed next to an opponent will not leave your teammate many options to make a play.
- Make the first touch – once the ball is in the air, be sure to touch or trap the ball. If you allow it to bounce or run on, the chances of the other team picking it up increases. Getting a touch on it early will help secure possession.
- Switch up where you throw – while it is usually a safe play to throw up the line to gain field and get close to the goal, it is not always the best option. The other team may catch on and heavily cover the line, so be sure to take a quick look around before throwing and find the best option. Remaining players on the field should be getting open – if you can, throw cross-field to switch the play or take an easy throw backwards to a defender to reset.
Similar to throw-ins, a corner kick is your team’s opportunity to gain possession and best case scenario, put the ball in the net. Corner kicks can be tricky to master with the angle and natural cluster of players but once you figure out your perfect kick, they can be a goalies nightmare. Below are a few key points to focus on.
- Keep the kick high and on target – since there will naturally be a larger group of players protecting the net, if your shot is too low, it will be easily blocked. Try to lob the shot up towards a teammate so they can trap or make a one-time touch on goal.
- Vary your placement – if you always kick to the same spot, the defense and goalie will quickly pick up on this and cut off your kick before a teammate has a chance to put a touch on it. Teammates should move around and open up for the pass in order to get a clearer shot on net.
- Similar to throw-ins, get that first touch – the first touch is crucial with a corner kick. You will need that one touch redirection or a trap and shot to try at a goal. If the other team gets first touch, you can bet it will be quickly cleared and you have lost your opportunity.
At your next game, give these tactics a try and see what works best for you and your team!