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Possession From Throw Ins

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throw ins 


Movement to create space and receive ball to feet in order to retain possession.

Game specific benefit

Improve your teams ability to retain possession from throw ins and build an attack. Generally, possession is lost from throw ins more often than it is retained so this exercise will help your players to improve what is a vital part of the game; it is especially important given that there are an average of 45 throw ins during every soccer match.

Setup & Main Points

  • Use sideline on any side of field (or create a sideline with cones if no sideline is available)
  • Players work in groups of 4 or 5 players (1 taking throw in and others looking to receive)
  • Thrower always looks to throw to feet
  • Throw in should be immediate if player is open – if nobody open, do not rush to throw
  • Player receiving ball either controls and turns into space or passes back to thrower
  • All players to be constantly moving to change positions and make it difficult for opponents to mark

Movement & Receiving

One player (usually defender) drops deep towards own goal to give option to thrower. If no immediate attacking option is available and the deep player is unmarked, use them.

Other players’ initial movement is away from thrower to create open space.

Players should switch positions and dart back into open space to give thrower at least two options.

After moving away from thrower then running back into space, if option to receive is not available or player is tightly marked, they should start sequence again and move away from thrower.

Touch limitation

No set touch limitation but aim for 1 or 2-touch if possible, especially when passing straight back to thrower.


Once movement is understood, introduce opponents to mark players and pressure the ball.

Coaching Points

  • Throw to feet – thrower should be throwing to feet, making it easy for teammate to control
  • Awareness – receiving player decision making to pass back to thrower or turn into open space depending on pressure from opponent
  • Movement – Players moving at all times and looking to create space for teammates as well as themselves
  • Communication – both from thrower and players looking to receive ball
  • First touch – good first touch with first time pass back to thrower or close control for 2-touch play



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