3 Strategies for Successful Throw-Ins

There are several different strategies to executing an effective throw-in, but the keys are to not lose possession and hopefully gather some offensive momentum.

Here are three strategies and supporting drills from the eteamz community designed to make your soccer team productive when throwing the ball in:

FAKE GIVE-AND-GO THROW

As soon as the person throwing the ball gets it into their hands, a second field player should be ready to make the move. This field player should be approximately five yards off the sideline and 15 yards down the field from the thrower.

This field player should make a quick five-yard sprint at an angle towards the thrower as if to receive the ball at his or her feet. Then they make a quick turn, changing their direction and sprinting down the sideline away from the thrower. As soon as the field player makes their break down the sideline, the thrower should throw the ball leading the runner down the field.

To create this throw-in drill, simply form two lines--one line for throwers and one line for the runners. Have your players practice proper timing and key words to tip off the "fake" throw, so that everyone is on the same page. For instance, if a player yells "To my feet, to my feet" as they're running towards the thrower, that could mean the fake is on--as opposed to a normal give-and-go throw where the player simply yells "Ball, Ball" as they run towards the thrower.

For the purposes of this drill, as the players make their runs down the line and receive the ball, they can collect it and head towards the goal, taking a shot; or simply collect it, dribble a few meters and then switch lines.

What Coaches Should Look For:

  • Obviously the most important part of this play is that a proper and legal throw-in occurs. Make sure that your athletes are taking the ball completely behind their head, using both hands equally and leaving their feet on the ground at all times.
  • Secondly, it is extremely important that the field player making the fake run actively sells the fake. They should be running toward the player intensely and calling for the ball. Both the thrower and the player must be aware that the "fake" give-and-go throw is on so that the thrower doesn't throw short, while the other player has turned and is running down the field waiting for a lead throw.
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