"What soccer passing skills should soccer coaches teach
kid soccer players?"

What soccer passing skills should a coach teach youth players?

Young players should be introduced to the following techniques when learning to pass the soccer ball.

  • Inside foot or push pass
  • Instep pass
  • Outside foot pass

The players will pick up the push pass easily, but bending and striking the soccer ball with the laces is another proposition.

Once the players can pass the soccer ball with some accuracy, bending the soccer ball with the outside and inside of the foot should be the next passing skills the players tackle. 

These soccer passing skills are much tougher to learn, but the kids will have fun trying them out especially when their are fun challenges involved.

Push pass or inside foot pass

The most basic of the soccer passing skills that young soccer players should be taught is the push pass. The pass is used to get the ball from player "A" to player "B".

How does the push pass work?

When teaching the basic technique involved in the push pass the player..

  • Locks the ankle, keeps the toe up and the heel down.
  • The player plants the non kicking foot next to the soccer ball.
  • The knees should be bent slightly.
  • Drive the kicking foot through the middle of the soccer ball.
  • The follow through should go directly through the soccer ball.

The ball should roll nice and smoothly to the target. The pass should allow the receiver to trap the soccer ball and make the next decision.

Instep or laces pass

The instep pass is a driven pass played with the laces. The player can use the pass to find a team mate, shoot, hit a corner or a cross.

The player...

  • Hits a pass like a shot except the ball is driven across the ground or in the air.
  • The player points the toe down and slightly to the side and locks the ankle.
  • The knees should be bent slightly.
  • The plant foot should be next to the ball.
  • The player should lean slightly to the side away from the ball.
  • The follow through should come across the players body.

This pass is great for hitting the pass over distance to a team mate.

Outside of the foot pass

The outside and inside of the foot soccer passing skills can be used to bend a ball around a player, into space for a player running onto the soccer ball or a shot on goal.

How do we teach players to use the inside and outside foot pass...

  • The players plant foot should be slightly behind the ball.
  • The player should use the outside of the kicking foot with the toe pointed down and inward slightly.
  • The player's foot should make contact with the soccer ball on the side of the ball closest to the kicking foot.
  • The ball should bend around a target.

Very good for playing balls around defenders...

Inside of the foot

These are more advanced soccer passing skills but can be introduced to younger players.

Bending a ball with the inside of the foot is similar to the outside foot except the player use the inside of the foot and hits the side of the soccer ball so the ball bends around the player.

  • The player will use the same techniques as if they are using a push pass - toe up, heel down and ankle locked.
  • The difference is the player does not drive the kicking foot through the middle of the soccer ball.
  • The player drives the kicking foot through the side of the soccer ball.
  • The follow through goes out to the side and not straight through the soccer ball.

These are advanced examples - the coach can scale these exercises back so the degree of difficulty is no so steep.

Soccer passes for the young player

Young players can be introduced to soccer passing skills like the push pass, instep pass and bending the soccer ball - the players should work on getting the techniques down and as they grow they will be able to strike the soccer ball with more power.

The players are paired up in two's and given a standing cone or a disk cone.

The game begins by having...

  • Each player picks a side and stands 10 yards on either side of the cone.
  • The players try and knock the cone down or knock the ball off the cone with a simple push pass.
  • The player that knocks the cone over the most wins the game.

The players can use the same game for the outside of the foot and inside of the foot by bending the ball around the cone instead of trying to hit the cone.

  • The player must be in line with the cone and try and bend the soccer ball around the cone.
  • The players start with 5 points and if they hit the cone the they lose a point.

Let the kids practice a few rounds with no coaching. The coach should watch to see which player gets the technique down. Bring the players back in and have the demo player show the technique again.

This is a great coaching tip to add to your soccer practice plans...click here!

Set up small sided games so players can try out some of their new soccer passing skills. This will give them an opportunity to learn how to put the soccer passing skills into practice. Need ideas for small sided games for soccer practice with a 3v3 or 4v4 game.

Return to Coaching Kids Soccer from Soccer Receiving

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