Who needs a Long Pass when you've got short ones? Right? Wrong! The best pass in soccer is the longest pass that still maintains possession. Being able to hit the long ball is an attribute all great players possess, especially the ones in the middle of the park. A big ball can relieve pressure, isolate players 1v1 and be played over the top for a direct scoring opportunity.
What does it all meannnn Basel? Hitting the ball long takes pin point accuracy, leg strength and an unteachable quality known as vision. Gotta love those unteachable qualities, Zidane will tell you all about them. So enough chit chat, check out the video which will give you an example of a great long ball played in over the top for a goal, then it's your turn. For those of you who can't, there's always xbox.
Which Positions Should be Practicing Hitting a Long Ball in Practice to Use in an Actual Game? and Why?
Well every position should be able to hit a ball in different ways and vary their service but three positions in particular should have this to really get the most out of the position.
1) Center Midfielder
Short pass, long pass and every other kind of pass should be in the arsenal of a great center mid. Playing strikers in, swinging the ball from one side to the next and finding outside mids diagonally should be a censer mids bread and butter. A great centre mid is the swiss army knife of distribution.
2) Center Back
Sure clearness, winning tackles and being a vocal leader are primary roles of the centre back but the next level centre back can also hit deadly long balls. Over the top and out wide a centre back through the duration of a game has chance after chance to hit a long pass into space, so develop it if you haven't started already.
Really? the goalie needs to be able to hit a long ball you may be thinking, yup sure does. Not only goal kicks but believe it or not the goalie gets the ball at their feet a lot during a game and when they do get it they need to able to pick out players down the field.
The keeper as much as anybody else needs to able to hit long balls over the top, into gaps and diagonal balls to flank players, if you thought being a great keep was just about using your hands, think again.
Things to Remember about the Long-Pass:
-After selecting your target keep your head down the entire stroke of the pass
-Really hit the ball, don't try and take some off, the faster the better, no daisy cutters here
-Before receiving the ball keep your head up constantly looking for channels to play the long ball in and to set up your pass
- Keep your plant foot firm and pointing in the direction of the pass as a guide
-You are going to need a large follow through, leg and body so land on your kicking foot with your exaggerated follow through
-If at first you don't succeed? Try try again, keep looking to play that big ball in because of how effective it can be
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