There are lots of ways to pass the ball – with the outside of the foot, in the air, driven along the ground, even backwards using the heel – but the easiest and most accurate, whether straight to a teammate or into space for them to run onto, is the sidefoot pass.
Tips on side-foot soccer passing technique
Use the inside of the foot – that’s the area from the base of the big toe to the central area of the heel, under the ankle bone.
Kick foot at right angles to the ball.
Belly button should be facing the player receiving the pass.
Non-kicking foot alongside the ball.
Knee and ankle joints held firm.
Body over the ball.
Head steady, eyes on the ball.
Use the arms to keep balanced.
Hit through the ball’s horizontal mid-line – that way it will keep low.
Kicking foot follows through towards the target.
But getting the technique right isn’t the end of the story – there are two other skills players should work on perfecting: timing and weight.
1. Timing tips
Get this wrong, for example, pass too early or too late, and the momentum of a move can stall. For example, a forward pass before a striker is ready to make their run could run harmlessly out of play, while delaying a pass too long can give defenders time to block off space and the passing angle, or mean your striker strays offside.
2. The ‘weight’ or power of a pass
Similarly, get the weight wrong, for instance, too heavy or too light, and that can also mean the end of an attack. Too heavy and a teammate could have trouble controlling the ball, while too light and the ball might not have the pace to reach the teammate, allowing a defender to intercept it.