10 - The Throw-in
The rules of football clearly define how a throw-in should be taken. The player should be facing the pitch, with both feet on or behind the sideline. He should use both hands to throw the ball from behind his head in any direction. Many players don't think it is worth learning how to throw-in properly, which is a great mistake. As you are using your hands, you can direct the ball more accurately. Don't forget that there is a rule that says the player who receives the ball from a throw-in cannot be considered off-side.
So, the better you throw a long, well aimed ball, the more dangerous it will be for your opponents. There are players who can actually throw the ball as far as 30 meters (nearly 100 feet)! When the throw-in is taken near the goal line, it can be as effective as a corner kick. I am telling you this so you can make the most of throw-ins.
You can take a throw-in from a standing position or running. When you take a throw-in from a standing position you should hold the ball in such a way that your two thumbs and index fingers are touching each other. The contact with the ball should be made with your fingertips rather than with the palm of your hand. Bend your arms right back behind your head. Keep your feet apart, with your weight evenly distributed on them. The ball is thrown well by co-coordinating the legs, body, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers. The action ends with the body bent forwards, arms totally straight and your fingers pointing downwards. The action is more or less the same when you take your throw-in after having run about six to eight steps. With a. running throw, don't let either of your feet be off the ground at the moment you throw the ball. The ball will go further when you have the extra force of a run behind it. The following list is the order in which you should practice these two types of throw-in:
1. Practice the actions that make up a running and a stationary throw-in without a ball.
2. Do the same again, this time with the ball, taking no notice of the actual distance of the throw.
3. Now repeat the actions with the ball, gradually working up the power of the throw.
4.Now try it with a heavier ball - a 'medicine ball' (that is one filled with sand).
5. Practice what you have learned with a soccer ball, trying to improve your throw by paying special attention to your own particular faults.
6. Practice throwing to your friends, in different directions and at different distances.
7. To perfect your different techniques, practice with your team-mates and an opposing team.
8. Learn to select which techniques to use in different circumstances. When you have discovered one or two methods of throwing-in which you are particularly good at, you are already a more valuable member of your team. Once again, success depends on the confidence you have acquired through methodical training and constant practice. If you want to become really good at throwing-in, the best thing is to develop a style of your own which will benefit your team. It's not enough just to read these little tips or to remember how this or that particular player did it. You, yourself, should add to what you have learned.