How to Do a Throw in Soccer
Throw-ins are somewhat crucial moments in a soccer game: they present an
opportunity to maintain possession of the ball, capitalize on a turnover
or - unfortunately - lose possession of the ball yourself. As such, the
throw-in is one of the most fundamental skills in soccer. It is also one
of the most nerve-wracking tasks in the game. For one thing, everything
stops, and all attention is on the person throwing the ball in. Add to
this the fact that many players ignore the development of throw-in
skills, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Don't fret, though. Follow
these steps, and with a little practice, you'll be able to take advantage
of throw-ins like the pros.
1Pick up the ball. Unless you're the 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 the ball that your palms will push the ball forward when you throw
it in. Make sure you've got a firm, but comfortable, hold on it.<
2Position 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 whatever feels most comfortable to you. Make sure
you are facing the direction you would like to play to the ball or you
might get a change of position.
3Scan 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've made your decision, you'll need to execute
quickly so that your opponent can't detect where you're going to throw.
4Run up to the sideline to throw the ball. Get a short running start--
just 2-4 steps--to help you gain the needed momentum to power the ball to
5Arch your back slightly. Do this right before you're ready to actually
throw the ball. Many players try to throw exclusively with their arms,
but most of the power should come from your back and shoulders, as well
as the momentum from your running start.
6Square up with your target and plant your front foot. When you're 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.
7Release 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.
8Run onto the field to re-enter play. You've 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 out to try to steal the ball back.<
Learn how to perform a proper throw in from a professional soccer head
coach in this sports video.
The running start is designed to get more distance on the ball. Note that
when running, there is a tendency to lift the back foot. Although this is
not an infringement of Law 15, because in virtually every instance the
back foot comes up after the ball has left the hands, referees are in
general stubborn and not careful observers, and most will imagine that
the foot was lifted before the ball was delivered and will judge it a bad
throw-in. To make sure this does not happen, players have learned to drag
the toe of the back foot on the ground. Sometimes it's imperative to just
deliver the ball a short distance as quickly as possible. In this case,
you can skip the running, but make sure you pay attention to the rest of
Want to throw the ball really far and look impressive doing it? Try a
flip throw-in. See the related wikiHow for instructions.
Be sneaky. Maybe you just want to deliver the ball to a teammate a few
feet away, but your opponents keep swarming your target. Get a running
start and act like you're going to throw far, or make it appear that
you're going to throw upfield but then throw downfield. Little tricks
like this can keep your opponents guessing and help your teammates get
Strategy is very important in the throw-in. If you're close to your own
goal, you want to be extremely careful where you throw the ball.
Generally, short, quick throw-ins are less risky here. If you're in the
middle of the field, you want to try to advance the ball, but keep it
under control. Find an open teammate, preferably upfield. Near your
opponent's goal, you should try to set up a scoring opportunity. You
can't score directly off a throw-in, but if you can throw far enough you
can try to get the ball to the center of the field where a teammate can
punch it into the goal. Alternatively, you may want to try a short throw-
in to someone who can quickly cross the ball to the center of the field.
In "strategizing" their throw-in, most beginning players, as well as
their team mates, forget to include the throw-in player. The player
throwing in is usually the only unmarked player on the field right after
the throw-in. In a tight situation, a pass back to the throw-in player
who has just come back onto the field of play and has the freedom to get
off a good pass, will help free up and move the play.
Practice throw-ins regularly. Practice makes perfect, of course, and
you'll be a lot less nervous if you know you can throw the ball in
Keep your feet on the ground. If you lift your back foot you may be
penalized by referees.
As soon as you get the ball in your hands, get a running start, then
plant both feet at the sideline, and THROW. Its important to do it
quickly and catch the other team off guard.
A free kick will be awarded to your opponent if you throw the ball in and
touch it before another player touches it.
A throw-in will be awarded to the opposing team if one or more of the
following occur during a throw-in: one or more feet cross fully over the
touch line into the field of play, the player fails to deliver the ball
from behind the head in one continuous motion, or the back foot is lifted
from the ground during the follow through. In the first two cases, if a
referee disallows the throw-in he is guilty of trifling; in the last case
he is guilty of violating Law 15.
Your strong leg should be forward which is the opposite of how it would
be if you were throwing a baseball.
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