Welcome to this guide about long passing in soccer.
Most of the time, you might be in a situation where you absolutely have to kick a long ball to a teammate…
But, what is a long pass in soccer? How do you execute one?
In this article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about long passing in soccer.
- What is a long pass in soccer?
- How to kick a long ball in soccer?
- How do you get a long pass?
- Why is long passing important?
- When are long balls neede in a game?
- How to improve long passing in soccer?
- Final thoughts
What Is A Long Pass In Soccer?
A long pass is simply the individual act of hitting or passing a soccer ball very far towards a teammate. It is any pass that travels a long distance. A long ball can be a very soft, floating and loopy pass that can be played on the ground or several meters in the air.
Many amateurs confuse a long ball with a “Ping”, which is a lifted pass that allows a player to switch play.
Although they are both very similar, Pings are mostly all hard-driven balls on the ground and in the air.
Now that you know what a long pass is, let’s see how you can execute a long pass in soccer.
How To kick A Long Ball In Soccer?
In order to kick a long ball in soccer, you need to learn and implement those tips given below:
- Line up behind the ball, not to the side.
- Your shoulders should face your target.
- Keep your plant foot two steps away from the ball when you make contact.
- Strike the lower part of the ball but not under the ball.
- Make sure your body is slightly bent when kicking the ball.
- Strike the ball right below the base of your big toe like in the pic above.
- Don’t try to bend the ball.
- Unlike the Ping, a long ball doesn’t take that much power as long as you have the proper technique.
- Watch goalkeepers like Buffon, Neur, etc. They are the perfect example of how to kick a long ball.
How Do You Get A Long Pass In Soccer?
Receiving a long pass in soccer isn’t that easy. But with the right tips plus some practice, you are going to get better at it.
Here are some tips for getting a long pass in soccer:
- You have to be on your toes with a low centre of gravity. It will help you be ready to adjust to the flight of the ball.
- Create a cushion effect with the ball. Right before the ball is about to make contact with your foot, you have to slightly move your foot away in order to absorb the impact.
- You can use the inside, outside, the sole of the foot and your chest to control the ball.
- Master your first touch.
- Follow the trajectory of the ball. Don’t take your eyes away from the ball.
- Practice it with a wall. Hit the wall with the ball and try to control it in the air effectively.
- If you can’t find a wall, kick the ball in the air as high as you can and try to receive it.
Remember, practice makes perfect.
Why Is Long Passing Important In Football?
Long passing is one of the most powerful techniques in football/soccer. During a game, the opponent team might be too compact and difficult to go through. In this case, playing long balls can sometimes cross the entire defence and create a real chance to score a goal.
However, a long ball can also be useful to switch the play.
For instance, the left-wing can be too tight and difficult to find a solution. In this case, switching play to the other wing is a great option.
Toni Kroos and Pirlo are the perfect examples of long balls.
Every team has at least one midfielder capable of passing long balls.
When Are Long Balls Needed In A Game?
Here are the most common reasons to hit a long pass during a game:
1-In a counterattack
Let’s say there is team A vs team B.
If team A fails to score and the goalie or a defender from team B gets the ball, they can play as fast as possible to run a counter-attack. In this case, a long ball can be needed to find a striker or any forward player to create a goal-scoring opportunity.
Watch this video to see how Wayne Rooney tackled and played a long ball towards a teammate to score a goal.
2-To Switch Up The Play
When defenders are playing short passes to build up the play and find solutions, they might be under pressure from the opposing forwards. In this case, defenders can play a long ball to another teammate at the other side of the pitch to get out of the pressure.
This also applies to midfielders and wingers.
A winger can play a long ball to the other side of the pitch for another winger if he doesn’t find a solution on his side.
How To Improve Long Passing In Soccer?
In soccer, improving long passing is all about practice and repetition.
But, of course, you have to know the perfect drills and tips to get better at it. Here’s what you should take into consideration to be great at passing long balls:
- Find three targets and something to bounce the ball from. Try different angle for receiving and distributing the ball like in the pic above.
- It has to be a very comfortable distance for you.
- Don’t kick the ball too hard.
- You have to get the perfect repetition every time.
- Don’t place your target too far away.
- Find the distance that best suits you.
- Practice 50-100 repetition with both legs.
- Focus on making every repetition as game-like as possible.
- Look over your shoulder before receiving the bounced pass.
- Challenge yourself to try different angle and approaches to the ball.
- Direct the way you take the first touch.
This is, of course, if you are training by yourself.
Long passing is one of the most powerful techniques in soccer/football.
It can be difficult to master but with practice and determination, you’ll achieve great results.
At last, whether you are a striker, a goalie, a midfield or a defender, you necessarily need to master the long balls.
Do you have any questions about long passing? Any tip you would like to add? Let us know in the comment section below.