In the early days of modern soccer the game was all about dribbling and tackling. Then the Scottish invented the passing game and became pretty much unbeatable. Soon everyone else followed suit. The ability to move the ball up the field at speed from player to player has remained a key part of the game ever since. Quite simply, if a team can’t pass accurately, they are not going to win.

Passing can be done with any part of the foot. The instep is generally used for a long ball, the inside of the foot for a sager, shorter pass. The outside of the show is often an effective method of curving a pass and surprising the opposition – a well placed back-heel kick can completely deceive a defense. You can even pass with other parts of your body – your head is a vital tool, as is your chest.

Passing also enables a team to keep possession and it is worth emphasizing that a team cannot score if it does not have possession. A well-placed pass from midfield to a point in front of an attacker’s run can set up a goal, and the ability to do passes like this is one of the most prized assets in the game. One much-maligned but very useful method of passing is the ling ball. This can vary from an aimless “thump” up front by a beleaguered defender to an inch-perfect diagonal ball from a gifted midfielder.

Like any other aspect of the game, passing in all its various forms must be practiced before any player can be sure of being effective in a game.

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