The push pass

push passpush passThe instep or push pass is a common pass used in soccer. To do a push pass, you use the inside of the foot (along the arch) to push the ball forward. As a result, the hip and leg/knee must rotate outwards to allow contact with the ball. Taking these elements in sequence, you will:

Turn the pass foot outward, locking the ankle so that the foot will not wobble. The knee of the passing leg will be slightly bent to allow the foot to come into contact with the middle of the ball.

As you are turning the pass foot outward, you will be stepping up to the ball with your plant foot, so that it is about hip-width away from the ball. If you stand too close, your hip will not swing smoothly. If you stand too far to the side, your angle will be awkward and the ball will not be struck smoothly. Your plant leg should be slightly bent, and the toe of the plant foot should be pointed at the target.

The ball is struck in the middle. If struck towards the bottom, it will go airborne. As the ball is struck, the plant leg should continue thru a natural swing of the hip, which will transfer additional power to the pass and also help to make it more accurate.

The arms will be held somewhat out from the body, especially on the follow-thru, so improve balance.

push pass 1 push pass 2The push pass can be learned by most children by around age 8-9. Short children (because the ball is relatively large) may have difficulty with this pass, as they may have insufficient hip width or swing to be able to get enough power. Children under age 8 often do not have the balance/coordination to use this pass, and may do better with a laces pass (passing the ball by pointing the toe down and hitting it along the big arch bone which along the side of the shoe laces).

You can easily tell if the player is not using proper technique, because the ball will not stay on the ground and/or will not go in the desired direction.

If the ball is getting airborne, this means that the player is striking it towards the bottom. If he strikes the ball in the centre or towards the top, it will stay on the ground. Usually can adjust easily by simply bending the knee of the passing leg.

If the pass isn’t accurate, this usually means one of two things. Either the ankle of the pass foot is wobbly (not locked) or the toe of the plant foot is not pointing at the target. Watch from the front, and this is easy to spot.

If the pass has no power, this usually means that the plant leg is too straight/stiff, which reduces the ability of the hip to swing thru the pass. Sometimes, the plant foot will be planted too wide, or too close, which also can reduce power. This also can lead to inaccurate passes.