Tips for Improving Your Passing in Soccer

By Elizabeth Freeman , last updated January 6, 2012

Improving your passing in soccer will improve your entire game, as passing is one of the most essential skills to have. If you can't pass the ball to a teammate, you can't score or make any progress in soccer. A player who refuses to pass the ball, or who thinks he can't pass the ball, will end up losing the ball to the opposing team.

Short Passing

A short pass travels over a short distance to another player. The ball stays on the ground and doesn't fly into the air. When playing soccer, never make a short pass using the toes or the tip of your foot. Connecting with the ball using the side of your foot allows you better control over the ball and the pass. Point the foot you are not using to kick the ball at the person you are passing the ball to.

Long Passes

When you make a pass across the field, you want the ball to fly into the air. To get the ball up in the air, you need to change the position of your foot when kicking it, and you need to adjust where on the ball you kick. While you should kick the ball in the center to make a short pass, you want to kick it on the lower part of the ball to loft the pass into the air.

You also want to use the top part of your foot to kick the ball, not the toes or the inside of your foot. To kick the ball, angle your kicking foot forward, so that the upper part of your foot hits the ball. The kicking action should be almost as if you are scooping up the ball from underneath with your foot.

Stay Sharp

When playing soccer, staying alert and making quick decisions is just as important as executing the passes well. You need to decide where to pass the ball so that your teammates are most likely to reach it. In many cases, passing forward is the best option. In some cases, though, the other team may be in front of you so that you need to pass to the side or behind you. It's a quick decision to make and you need to weight the odds quickly.

One way to be better at passing and soccer over all is to come up with a plan of action before you end up with the ball. You won't have time to hold the ball and choose a player to pass to or another course of action once it gets to you. Make the choice before the ball winds up at your feet.

Communication and Timing are Key

You need to communicate with your teammates to pass the ball to them and have them receive it. They should also communicate with you, alerting you to approaching defense or letting you know if you have a few seconds to spare. During scrimmages and practice, work on talking to each other on the field. Timing is part of communication. When you pass the ball to a player, he has to be there to receive it or else the other team will possess it.

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