Passing the ball in soccer is one of the key skills to master. Good passing leads to increased possession and a greater chance of victory in a match, because without the ball, how can you expect to score a goal? Here is some advice on good technique when passing the ball short or long.
Short passingThe best way to achieve accurate short passing is to use the inside of your foot. This gives greater control and maximizes the chances of the ball reaching your teammate. However, increased accuracy means that a player has to be careful when making a pass, and this, in turn, means that an opponent has a greater chance of reading the pass because the preparation time is longer and the pass is likely to be slower.
It is good to approach the ball at around 30 degrees. Turn the foot you are going to make the pass with outwards and lock the ankle so it is strong on contact with the ball. Bend the knee of your passing leg slightly so the foot is in the correct position to pass. With your standing foot about hip-width away from the ball, bring your kicking foot through and strike the middle of the ball with the inside of your foot. The aim of a short pass is generally to keep the ball low, thus making it easier for a teammate to control.
For increased power, follow through with the kicking leg. This will also help to increase the accuracy of the pass. It is good to hold the arms out from the body, to improve balance.
Long PassingThe aim of a long pass is to switch play or find a teammate in space. A long pass is generally more attacking than a short pass, but this can depend on where you are on the field.
If you want to drive your pass, approach the ball at a 30-degree angle so there is room to swing your kicking leg through. Use your arms for balance, position your non-kicking foot close to the side of the ball, and keep your eyes on the ball. If you want to keep the ball low you must keep the knee of your kicking foot over the ball and not lean back as you strike the center of the ball with your laces, following through.
If you want increased power and height, hit the ball near the bottom, lean back further and follow through the ball more.
Ideally you do not want the ball to bounce before it reaches a teammate as a bouncing ball is harder to control and can hold up an attack.