Coach Equipment

Soccer Techniques

Throw-In Technique with Practical Tips for the Perfect Throw

Throw-In Technique
© Amy Myers-Fotolia.com

The technique of the throw in is basically determined by the rules, but there is some room to achieve a more successful throw in, especially over a long distance.We will first deal with execution in conformance with the rules:


The Rule Sets Out the Technique

  • If the ball is played over the sideline, the team which didn’t touch the ball last receives a throw in.
  • The throw in must be conducted at the point where the ball left the field of play.
  • The player throwing in must face the field of play.
  • Each foot must at least touch part of the sideline or the ground outside the field of play.
  • There is no minimum distance to the edge of the playing field.
  • The ball is thrown over the head from behind with both hands.
  • The minimum distance between the person throwing in and the player on the field is two metres.
  • If an opposing player interferes with the person throwing in, the opposing player receives a yellow card.
  • A goal may not be scored directly from a throw in.The offside rule does not apply.
  • The person throwing in may only play the ball after another player on the pitch has touched it.
  • If the person throwing in breaks the throw-in rules, the opposing team receives the throw in.

Common Throw-In Rule Violations

Problems with regulatory correct implementation often arise when:

  • The team mate is too close to the person throwing in. It can be repeatedly observed that the ball is released behind or above the head or far in front of the body. Even professionals may have problems with this.
  • On throwing, a foot is raised or there is a jump.
  • The person throwing in steps over the line.

These difficulties may be overcome however through targeted training. If the team mate is standing close to the person throwing in, the amount of swing in the arm must be reduced, allowing for a more precise throw in that is rule compliant. Otherwise, the throw in may be placed at half height or at head height. This is not just majorly difficult for beginners and as a coach, it’s better to require players to maintain a greater distance from the person throwing in.

It goes without saying to be especially mindful of stepping over the line or lifting of the foot during training.


Optimal Throw-In

A throw in is only optimal when the team throwing in maintains possession, it’s that simple.

Basically, the throw in is directed towards the opposing goal posts because managing the ball is often problematic and there is a high risk of creating advantages for your opponents arising out of the throw in. A throw towards your own goal should only occur when team members can control the ball fully without pressure from the opposition.

When there isn’t much distance between the person throwing in and the player receiving the throw, it is recommendable to let the ball bounce back off the person throwing in. Naturally, the thrower should move into the playing field so as to be freely available for play. He then has the playing field before him whereas the player receiving the throw in mostly has his back to the opposing goal and has to turn around.

If playing back to the thrower is not possible, the person receiving the throw in can try to control the ball, or pass it directly on to another team member.



It Can Go No Further, but It Can Go More Successfully

It is noticeable that the long throw in in soccer is often used when it is not needed, a pointless drill.

For the most part, throw ins are made go farin order to threaten the opponent’s goal directly. In order to be thrown directly in front of the goal, it must be propelled 30 to 40 metres. Not many people can do this and that is why the header lengthening variant is often used. The long throw in and its effect on counter attacks is underestimated. Throws in can be easily directed towards free space and in under-age soccer and in minor leagues there is plenty of this. Try the following variant: the field player runs towards the thrower and turns in the opposite direction shortly before the throw. The thrower throws the ball over the defender towards the space freed up by the now underway team mate.

Quick switching may also lead to great benefits. For this: if the ball goes to touch, quickly take the ball, re-orientate and throw in (if the situation allows). If not, go immediately into “standby mode” and perform the throw in in a controlled manner.


How Can a Player Throw a Ball as Far as Possible?

It’s not just arm strength that makes for large distances. The trajectory, the swing, the power of the body, liquidity and the additional use of the hands are all pivotal.

Researchers Nicholas Linthorne and David Everett from Brunel University in Uxbridge have discovered that a ball travels the furthest when it is thrown at an angle of approximately 30 degrees with a slight backspin. The backspin is generated using the hands by drawing them slightly under the ball shortly before throwing. However, care is required because often the ball is released from the hands too early and then there is a problem with the rules.

Further Tips:

  • The throw in is done while moving. In this case, train first with a "trainee step" and then increase the step count gradually. There is always the danger that,when the ball is released, at least one foot is in the field of play.
  • Both hands are behind the ball, according to the regulation. What is meant by “hands”, however? Try not to hold the ball completely in the palms, instead slightly, barely visibly (!) in the fingers. The control of the ball when released and the throwing distance can be increased by many players.
  • For the throw in, we need body power. The upper body is stretched like a crossbow andwe get additional momentum in the arms from the body.
  • The arms should be loosely but strongly moved over the head from behind and the finger tips also press against the ball on release.

To achieve perfection, it is necessary to have a smooth sequence. The approach, the stretching of the body and the release all form a uniform motion. With some practice, the momentum can be increased further, but beware:

Don’t throw the ball out into the other side. ;-)


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