Lead the player with the pass
Basics, basics, basics, yet many players still make this error. For whatever reason many soccer don’t lead their teammate with the pass. It can be the most frustrating thing because when poorly execute it can result in a lost possession, counter attack or offensive individual effort.
Growing up when I played hockey, my coaches always used to tell me to lead the player with puck when passing. This became very obvious on ice because you’re always moving without making much effort. When you sprint up the ice the pass needs to be in front of the player receiving it otherwise the offensive attack cannot even get started. Hockey players also have a stick a few feet in front of them as a target which makes it even more clear where the puck needs to be.
Things are no different in soccer. When wingers make sprints up the field he needs to be lead with the pass by at least 5 feet. This way when on the full sprint they do not have to break stride and can continue with the ball. Furthermore, the player now with the ball becomes even more difficult for defenders to stop when on the full sprint. The defender will be on their back heals, have to either turn and sprint, sprint just as fast backwards as you’re running forward or hope there is already some distance between themselves and you with the ball so that he can get ready to make a challenge.
Some tips to remember to help you do this properly include:
- Always look up when you have the ball. Know where your teammates are around you
- Use your voice, call for the ball making making and receiving a pass
- Signal with our arm in advance if you have to
- Know what speeds your teammates are capable of running
Remember to be calm when you’re passing the ball. Many errors are made because players are not looking where they are passing in relation to where their teammates are. They also rush the pass. Take your time and make the right pass that will only make you look good and help your team.