Short Passing: Inside Arch Push Pass

Tactical Point – When & Where

Soccer Coaching - Short Passing Technique
Watch the world’s best national side Spain, or the best club side Barcelona, and one thing is clear: effective short passing technique is well worth instilling in our young players.

One of the key players in both of these teams is midfielder Andres Iniesta. He described the mantra repeated constantly at Barcelona’s cantera: “Receive, pass, offer, receive, pass, offer. This was the only thing the coaches would shout.”

The principle is one practiced by every player in every position on the field. This gives their teams complete assurance on the ball (giving individuals confidence) lets them dominate possession (and therefore field position and chances on goal) and overwhelms their opponents (making them chase and tiring them easily).

Whilst the top players have used this skill so often it has become instinctive, we can coach our young players the best technique to use. Then we can give them ample opportunities to try it out; every session should require players to make and receive short push passes.

Technique – Coaching Points

Soccer Coaching Technique - Short Passing Inside of Foot

  • Plant your non-kicking foot alongside the ball. Point your knee and toes towards your target – this will correctly align your body.
  • Pull the kicking leg through a small backswing. Turn your knee away from your body.
  • Keep your head steady with your eyes looking down at the point of contact on the ball.
  • Push ball with your inside arch, kicking through the horizontal midline – this ensures a straight pass.
  • Follow-through with your kicking leg – the stronger the movement, the more powerful the pass will be.
  • Move into supporting position.

Further Advice

Top players will look to disguise their pass. They can do this through misdirection with the head, hands or voice (or all three).

Just as important as direction is the weight of the pass. Does the receiving player want to run onto a rolling ball into space? Or would a pass be better played short for the receiver to move towards? Is the passing lane wide enough for a measured ball or does the ball need zipping in with pace?

The final point is crucial – encourage players to instinctively move after they play a pass. Into space ahead is usually best, but supporting from behind might be the right option if it means retaining possession.

Your Thoughts

Have you learned anything from this article you can apply to your sessions? Is there anything I’ve missed or which you’d like to add for the benefit of the other coaches who read this?

Let me know by leaving a comment below, or you can visit the contact page to send me an email. I love to hear your thoughts!

  • johnny
    i understnad the receive and pass parts but what does it mean to offer...

    to help out...
    to call for the ball.....

    i dont understand what offer means in this case..
  • Hi Johnny,

    In the Barcelona mantra "offer" means get into space or a position to receive the ball and progress the attack, and then call or indicate (with hands, eye contact, bodyshape) that you want the ball back.

    When an entire team shares this mentality the passer always has multiple options and even the toughest defences can be pulled around the pitch and opened up.
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