The best soccer players are often the best passers of the ball.
Players in all positions should improve this important skill.
Passing is simple but difficult to master. This article will teach you the four types of soccer passes and tips that will make you an expert.
How to Kick a Soccer Ball
If you haven’t already, read How to Kick a Soccer Ball.
It covers the 12 steps you should follow for each type of soccer kick.
Types of Soccer Passes
To do a standard pass, turn your hip outward, lift your leg to the side, then pass the ball with the inside of your foot.
Point your placefoot and body at your target. Follow through at your target.
Use the standard pass to pass the ball on the ground. You will use this pass often, so master proper technique.
Use the lofted pass for long passes across the field, when you need to pass over a defender’s head, and when crossing a soccer ball.
To do a lofted pass, put your placefoot out wide horizontally, kick the bottom of the ball with the area around the knuckle of your big toe, then follow through.
When you follow through your leg should be high. This step is huge. I had trouble getting enough height on my lofted passes until I learned to follow through correctly.
This pass should be firm, but not as strong as a shot. If your passes have too much power you aren’t kicking the bottom of the ball or are following through incorrectly.
The chipped pass is similar to a lofted pass only the ball stays longer in the air and has more backspin.
Use the chipped pass when passing a short distance through the air. For instance, say you are playing wingback and the winger is a short distance away. He makes a run past the opposing winger towards the corner flag. If you play a chipped pass the ball will go over the opposing winger and your teammate will get to the ball before the opposing wingback gets to it.
Whether you use a chipped or lofted pass depends on the situation. Sometimes both passes would be effective. However, one usually works better than the other. You will learn which pass to use as you practice them in games.
To perform this pass, kick the grass under the ball and follow through slightly.
8 Soccer Passing Tips
1. Develop vision
Vision is how well you can see potential passes. Effective passers have good technique and vision.
Read our article, How to Develop Vision in Soccer for more information.
2. Master every type of pass
New passing options open up when you learn every type of pass.
Every advanced player should be able to do things like pass the ball over defender’s heads to a forward and chip the ball over the opposing center midfielder to a forward.
Develop your lofted and chipped passing technique. You will become a more effective passer.
3. Use the through pass
To perform a “through pass” pass the ball ahead of your target into space. Your teammate will run to the pass.
You can use a standard, lofted, or chipped pass to play a through pass. Which one you choose depends on the situation.
For example, if your forward is close to the goal and there are gaps between the defenders, use a standard through pass. The standard pass is the easiest to control and the grass slows the ball down so the keeper won’t get to it before your team’s forward.
In the same situation you would use a chipped pass if there weren’t any gaps between defenders to pass through.
An example of when to use a lofted through pass is when you are in the defensive half and see the forward making a run towards goal. A standard through pass will get slowed by the grass and will get intercepted by defenders. A chipped pass is too slow and will get headed away by defenders in this situation.
The through pass can be deadly. A good passer sees opportunities for through passes – even when his teammates are tightly marked.
4. Play the simple pass
Retaining possession is as simple as finding open teammates close to you and passing the ball.
Playing a simple pass is often your best option.
Passing the ball around annoys and tires the defense, creating gaps that you can exploit.
Don’t force passes to tightly marked players. Don’t use a lofted through pass repeatedly. Don’t play through passes constantly.
Play the simple pass consistently and your team will retain possession.
5. Pass often
Many players dribble far too often.
Dribbling is tiring, makes getting injured more likely, and allows defenders to get back on defense.
Dribbling has it’s place, but passing is a better option in most situations.
Try passing more. You will be more effective on the pitch.
6. Pass Fast
The faster you pass the ball, the less time the opposition has to mark you and your teammates.
This skill takes time to learn. Playing at a high level is the best way to learn this skill. The higher the level, the less time you have, so you will naturally pass the ball faster.
7. Get a partner
If you are serious about improving your passing technique pass outside of practice.
Find a partner that will pass with you on a consistent basis. You will improve your passing ability quicker than other players.
8. Master correct pace
Putting correct pace on the ball is tough to master but vital to improving your passes.
If you pass the ball with too little pace defenders may intercept it and you slow down your team unnecessarily. If you put too much pace on your passes they will go to the opposing keeper, out of bounds, and will be hard to receive.
That being said, it’s better to pass a ball with too much pace than too little. Make a firm pass when you pass directly to a teammate.
Mastering correct pace is difficult because no two passing situations are the same. You will improve your passes pace when you practice game-like situations.