Soccer Updates

Coaches will be contacting players this week.

Improving Our Ability to Strike Balls Cleanly - Part 3

Authors: John Ellinger - US Youth Soccer

The last technique to be discussed regarding this topic will be improving the player's ability to chip a ball. This technique can be applied when the player is attempting a short delicate chip over a defender into the open space that a teammate is making a run into, or a longer chip over the opposing goalkeeper who has ventured too far from their goal line, or it could be used to play a soft, longer ball to a specific teammate or open space on re-start situations. Whenever players master this particular skill, they are often referred to as players who have great touch. In order to reach this status as a player, the player should realize that besides the many extra training hours that are spent developing this technique, there has to be a tactical brain that goes along with the execution of this technique. A player needs to know when it is an appropriate moment in the game to even attempt the tactic of chipping the goalkeeper for example.

Again the mechanics of this technique are: 
  • Players can approach the ball at either a slight angle or straight on, depending on the desired flight of the ball.
  • Place the non-kicking foot beside the ball, or slightly behind it.
  • Do not take a full back swing with the kicking leg
  • For a straight on jab chip, the player should bring the toe of the kicking foot directly under the center of the ball.
  • If the player is approaching the ball from the side, then they should imagine that the kicking foot will strike under and towards the outside of the ball with almost a wedge like motion.
  • It is important to remember the amount of backwards body lean goes a long way in determining the amount of loft on the ball.
There are many simple training exercises that players can do by themselves or with a teammate. For example, one player can practice the jab chip by attempting to chip over objects such as cones, benches, goals, etc., or with the help of a teammate players can practice stationary chipping or chipping a moving ball over distance. The coach can set up a training exercise where the Goalkeeper plays a ball to a Player A (red) who is about 10 yards outside of the penalty box and then the goalkeeper must run out to the top of the penalty area, which now creates an opportunity for Player A to attempt to chip the goalkeeper. Utilizing several goalkeepers and chipping players, this set-up will allow for some quality repetition work in improving a player's ability to score goals through chipping.
Improving Our Ability to Strike Balls Cleanly - Part 3

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