Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


Simple tactics for throw-ins

By David Clarke

David ClarkeI find that when young players pick up the ball for a throw-in and are faced by one of their team mates very close to them they usually end up doing a foul throw because they aren’t throwing the ball very far.

The way to stop them doing this is to give them tactics that both the thrower and receiver have practised before the match.

A player too close to the thrower is not in a good position anyway. What you are looking for is a player on the move who can take the ball in their stride and use it to advance your team up the pitch.

Throw-ins are good attacking weapons but you also need to be able to make the most of them when you are defending as well.

I use these four throw-in tactics to give all my teams good basic ideas so they know what to do when they pick the ball up. You should try them too.

  • In diagram 1, player A throws to player B who gives the ball back to player A with the inside of the right foot on the volley.

  • Once your players have done it a few times with their right foot, player B does the same this time using the left foot like diagram 2 – again playing the ball from the throw-in before it touches the ground.

Concentrate on the quality of the throw-in

Player A should always make sure his throw makes it easy for player B to move to the ball and volley back. The throw should put the ball at the right height, in the right spot and at the right pace.

Make sure your throwers concentrate on this, aiming the ball in the general direction of player B is not good enough.

Players shouldn’t be put under pressure

A ball thrown at chest or head height will put player B under pressure, as defenders will have a chance of intercepting as player B tries to control the ball.

How to progress

  • You can progress the throw-in practice, as we have done in diagram 3, by adding a defender and another team mate.

  • Player A must then disguise his throw, so the defender runs to the wrong player.

Support and move from the throw-in

    • Add another defender, as in diagram 4. This time the thrower and his attackers must support each other once the initial throw has been made.

    • Player B receives the ball, passes to player C then supports the pass so player C can pass back to him. Or player C can pass long to player A who has run into an attacking position down the wing.

    • Alternatively, player B can either play the ball back to player A and set up an attack, or retain possession, and still set up a 3v2 situation.

Soccer coaching tips to boost player throw-ins

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