(Related topics: Overview Of How To Teach Inside-of-Foot Passing & Receiving, Diagnosing & Solving Problems With 2-Touch Passing With Inside-of-Foot, Diagnosing & Solving Problems With Inside-of-Foot Receiving, Detailed Directions For Teaching Inside-of-Foot Pass, Detailed Directions For Teaching How To Receive a Pass With Inside-of-Foot )
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Over 75% of all passes & receptions are made using the inside-of-the-foot. Passing, receiving and dribbling are the most fundamental and important skills to teach. To be a good player, a child must learn the correct technique for the inside-of-foot "push" pass. Over 50% of the youth players use incorrect technique. The result is passes that are inaccurate, don't have the right pace or don't stay on the ground. It's important to teach proper technique at an early age because if a child hasn't learned the proper technique by U-10, it's hard to correct the improper technique. This section is written as if speaking to the player.
The inside-of-the-foot "push" pass is the most important pass and the one you should use most of the time. It is used a lot because the inside of the foot provides the largest flat surface for striking the ball and, therefore, it is easiest to be consistent when using the inside of the foot. You will need to use your "instep" (i.e., the "laces") to make a long pass and in some cases you should pass with the outside of your foot, but most of the time you should use the inside of your foot.
- Start by positioning yourself so the ball is directly between you and your target. You should be facing the ball and not turned sideways to it.
- Place your left foot (your non-kicking foot, which is called your "plant" foot) on the left side of the ball so it is about 3" to 6" from the ball and pointing toward the target. This "plant" foot should be placed where you will feel comfortable when you strike the ball with your right foot; the toes of your plant foot can be toward the middle or back of the ball (whichever works best for you, but if you have trouble keeping the ball on the ground, move your plant foot back). Keep the knee of your plant leg bent a little, bend your kicking leg and take a short backswing.
- Watch the ball with your head over the ball when you kick it and turn your foot so it is flat (squared) to the back of the ball on contact. Strike the ball with the inside of your foot at the arch just behind the middle of your foot near the anklebone, not with the front of your foot), lock your ankle on impact with toes pulled up (so your toes are about the same distance off the ground as your heel), strike the ball in the middle (about 5" above the ground) and follow through toward the target. It is called a "push" pass because you should use a long follow-through like you are pushing the ball toward the target.
- Look up as soon as you strike the ball so you can see what to do next. For consistency and power, try to always take 1 step before striking the ball (although if an opponent is close you may not be able to do so). You will get top-spin if you use correct technique. The best players can pass the ball quickly and accurately.
Practice the following:
- Right foot pass quickly and accurately. Left foot pass quickly and accurately
- Practice 2-touch (which means you stop the ball and then pass it so that you have touched it 2 or more times) and 1-touch (which means you pass the ball back without stopping it so that you have only touched it once). Stress quick and accurate 2-touch passing.
- See how hard a pass you can receive and still control the ball.
- Angle your left foot so that when you receive the ball with your left foot the ball bounces to your right foot and then pass the ball with your right foot (try for one continuous motion).
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