One of the areas of the game of soccer frequently neglected by coaches in training are throw ins and receiving throw ins.
Watching youth games it’s discouraging to see the number of thrown ins that result in loss of possession. With many youth teams they would be better off letting the other team have the throw in and then defend it since they are going to lose most of their throw-ins anyway.
The simple reason teams lose possession on throw ins so often is they don’t prepare for the situation. It’s not so much about having planned runs but rather practicing throwing to feet and practicing receiving the ball from a thrower.
Derek Broadley has a nice throw-in warm up in the DVD, Video Striking and Running with the Ball. Below is a slight modification of the activity.
Start with a number 1 yard gates spread out in a 40 x 40 area. Break the team into 3 colors and players in one color all start with a ball.
The player picks up the ball and does a legal soccer throw in from between a gate (using the gate as a sideline) to a designated color. In the diagram below, the black team passes to the red team.
The red players would receiving the ball (with their feet or whatever part of the body the ball is played to and then dribble through 2 sets of gates. This is done to work on receiving the ball and keeping it moving right away as well as keeping the head up to make sure they don’t dribble into anyone.
After dribbling through the second gate the player would pick the ball up and then find a yellow player to pass to. In this example, the sequence goes black passes to red. Red passes to yellow and yellow passes to black.
This is a simple warm up activity but does an excellent job of getting the players accustomed to throwing the ball in a way to make it easy for the player to receiving the ball and go to space.
Considering how much coaches emphasize the importance of possession it surprises me more coaches don’t work on these types of activities more often.
Just something to think about.