It is one thing to know the basics of how to pass a soccer ball, but it is a whole other skill to be able to pass the ball accurately in every game situation. Once you have learned the basics, you will want to move a bit closer to passing like the masters.
Below are seven tips that will help you to be able to increase your in-game passing skills.
1. Get to Know Your Teammates
Nothing will help your passing more than gaining chemistry with your teammates. The best way to add to your team chemistry is to take practice seriously and get to know each player’s instincts with and without the ball.
Getting to know your teammates will also allow you to see who your best options are in different situations. You will instinctively know when a through ball is the best option and where each teammate is around the pitch.
2. Use Both Feet
There are so many advantages to using both feet when passing. Not only do you open up a plethora of new passing options, you also make defenders respect you more since they truly don’t know where you will go with the ball.
Too many players grow up using just their dominant foot, which weakens their game right off the bat. The sooner a player starts to use his or her weak foot, the sooner they will be a more confident soccer player.
3. Pass More Often
One of the easiest ways to become a better passer is by completing as many passes as you can. This doesn’t mean that you need to pass when a shot is the better option, but focus on getting your passes off early as your team is moving down the field. Passing more often will also give you better vision down the road, which will make you an all-around better player.
4. Pacier Passes are Usually Better
One bad habit that some soccer players develop is making soft passes because they aren’t confident that they will be able to get the ball to their teammates accurately. This is a very bad habit since it disrupts the flow of the game and it allows the opposing team to get their defensive shape back.
The truth is that once you get used to passing the ball with pace, you will notice that it is a lot easier to get the ball to go where you need it to go. You also up the chances of actually getting the ball to your teammates since there is a pretty small window to get it to them before the defense reacts.
5. Create Space Before You Receive the Ball
One easy way to give yourself more time to think when you have possession of the ball is by putting more space between you and the defenders. It’s not always possible, but if you have a chance to fake a defender into thinking you’re going one way, you can come back to the ball and have time to pick out a good pass.
If you allow defenders to stay close to you at all times, then there is a higher chance that you will be forced into making an errant pass.
6. Keep Your Passing Intentions Disguised
One of the easiest ways to have your passes intercepted is by telegraphing where you are going to go with the ball. This is a common mistake made by players at every level, so you have to practice making quick decisions without allowing the defenders to figure out where you will pass the ball. It helps to have good chemistry with your teammates, but you should also work on your ball control to give yourself more confidence on the ball.
7. Don’t Try to Do Too Much
Forced passes rarely work out, which is why you need to learn how to only make those passes when you have no other options. While it’s great when your teammates make off-ball runs, you don’t have to pass it to them if it’s not your best option.
It is important to know that the best passing option isn’t always up the field. Too many players think that if they pass the ball backwards that they are somehow hurting their team, but that is usually not true. It is better to move the ball forward, but if there is a low chance that your team will retain the ball, then do your best to make a simple pass so your team can keep possession.