Throw-ins are somewhat crucial moments in a soccer game. They present an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball, capitalise turnover or unfortunately lose possession of the ball yourself. A throw-in is a fundamental skill in soccer. Many players ignore the development of throw-in skills, you can read our article to help you develop your throw in.
Pick up the ball. Unless you are a goalie you don’t get to use your hands much in soccer, so enjoy it while you can. Grip the ball with both hands and bring it behind your head. Your hands should be behind your head so your palms will push the ball forward when you throw it in. Make sure you have a firm but comfortable hold on it.
Position your feet facing the field. Stand a few feet behind the sideline so that you can run up to the line without crossing it. Some players like to keep their feet together, while others like one foot in front of the other. Do what you feel is most comfortable for you. Make sure you are facing the direction you would like to play to the ball.
Scan the field. Deciding where to deliver the ball is the most important step. You may have set plays for this or you may just need to find an open player. Once you have made your decision, you’ll need to execute quickly so that your opponent can’t detect where you are going to throw.
Run up to the sideline and throw the ball. Get a short running start, just 2-4 steps to help you gain the needed momentum to power the ball to its target.
Arch your back slightly. Do this right before you are ready to actually throw the ball. Many players try to throw exclusively with their arms, but most of the power should come from the back and shoulders as well as the momentum from your running start.
Square up with your target and plant your front foot. When you are ready to throw the ball, make sure your shoulders are square with your intended target. This is crucial for making an accurate throw and also necessary because the ball must travel directly over your head. Now stop your run and plant your leading foot. Remember to keep both feet down to avoid an infraction call by the referee.
Release the ball. Bring your arms up and forward so that your hands and the ball travel directly over your head. At the same time bring your arched back forward like a spring and drag the toe of your back foot on the ground. Extend your arms fully and release the ball from just behind the head. Remember to keep your head up or facing straight after the ball is released so you don’t just throw the ball at the ground.
Run on to the field and re-enter play. You have completed the throw-in and hopefully you got the ball to your teammate. Now get back out there to help move the ball into scoring position. If, on the other hand you accidentally threw the ball to your opponent you can make up for it by running to try to steal the ball back.