Short Passing: Chip Pass

Soccer Coaching Techniques - Chip PassYoung players sometimes struggle to lift the ball off the ground and I have found that teaching them Chip Passes is a great stepping-stone to more complex movements such as the Long Lofted Drive.

Chip Passing is also a really useful skill for young footballers to have when they come up against well-organised teams. The change of pace and angle that they allow often opens space that passing on the ground cannot.

The technique can be used to play wingers or attacking full-backs in behind their markers, as a crossing technique (e.g. to the far post – giving an attacker a run-up advantage over a defender) or as a finishing technique.

This skill is sometimes called the ‘lob’ and, confusingly, the term ‘chip’ is often used incorrectly to describe a lofted pass. Here ‘chip’ is used in its original sense, like the golf shot, for a ball which pitches high and drops quickly over a relatively small distance (usually ~15-20m).

Technique

  • Plant your non-kicking foot alongside and slightly behind the ball. Point your toes and knee towards your target – this brings your body into the correct alignment for a straight pass.
  • Keep your head steady and your eyes looking at the point of contact on the football.
  • Point your kicking foot down and strike the bottom of the ball with the top of your foot. Kicking beneath the horizontal midline will lift the football.
  • Because a small part of the foot has to contact a relatively small part of the ball, chip passes are easy to miscue and slice off-target. Concentrate on hitting the ball directly on the vertical midline, as kicking on either side of the ball will reduce accuracy.
  • Control your kicking leg after the contact. Stopping your swing will give the ball more back-spin, making the pass pitch up and drop more dramatically. However, you may need to add more of a follow-through to increase the weight of the pass and play your chip over longer distances.

Here’s a “grandissimo” example of a chip from Francesco Totti being used to completely surprise the Inter Milan defence. In the replays you can really notice the spin on the ball as it dips:

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