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Throw-in Strategy

Keep your strategy simple and make sure you explain to your players what your team’s throw-in strategy is and why.

What do you want your players to achieve from each throw-in taken by your team?

  1. Maintain possession of the ball. You have been awarded possession if your team is taking the throw-in. Do not waste your possession by turning the ball over.
  2. Create a scoring opportunity. A properly executed throw-in can result in a fast break for your team or can be as effective as a corner kick.

If your team is taking a throw-in from your own end of the field focus on keeping possession. If your team is taking a throw-in from within the opposition’s end start thinking about creating a scoring opportunity.

If you are throwing in from deep in your end, keep the ball close to the sideline. In youth soccer only throw back to your goalkeeper if the coast is completely clear. If you are deep in the opposing team’s end you should look at a long throw-in resembling a corner kick or look at moving the ball systematically towards the goal by creating a fast break or a few quick passes.

Who should take the throw-ins?

At the U-6 to U-8 level the first player that can get to the ball should take the throw. At this age it is important that all kids get a chance to work on this skill.

In U-10 and U-12 you should start utilizing your fullbacks and midfielders. Your strikers should, in most instances, be thinking more about receiving the throw rather than taking the throw.

At the U-14 and up level your closest midfielder should take the throw. You may want to utilize your most skilled player at the long throw-in when your team is within striking range.


Throw-in Technique

After you have talked to your team about the strategy behind throw-ins, demonstrate basic throw-in technique.

1. The ball should be held in both hands.

2. The index fingers and thumbs need to be positioned close together so that the hands form a W shape behind the ball.

3. Hold the ball over the head, just behind the ears, with the elbows bent and held out at an angle from the body.

4. Stand on or just behind the touchline with both feet together. Bring your hands forward and release the ball as it goes past your head.

5. Aim for your teammate’s feet.

How to teach the long throw-in

1. Make sure your hands are dry.

2. Take several steps back from the touchline.

3. Hold the ball in the W shape but hold it in front of you, level with your eyes - not behind your head.

4. Run towards the touchline.

5. All the power of the throw is generated in the final stride so stamp your front foot down hard on the touchline, bend your back and take the ball behind your head.

6. Immediately throw the ball forward in one powerful, fluid motion.

7. Keep your trailing leg in contact with the ground by dragging it behind you in your final stride.