There are more important soccer skills than the throw-in, but it is still something that every soccer player should learn how to do. While it’s not essential that you become a throw-in specialist, you should at least learn the basics of the throw-in just in case you’re ever called upon in a game.
Below are the very basics of how to do a throw-in in soccer. You can practice on your own or with your teammates.
Positioning Your Hands
What’s great about teaching and learning how to throw the ball in is that you don’t have to worry about your strong and weak hands since both will be doing the same thing. Hand positioning is absolutely vital for power and accuracy, so get this part down first before you move on to actually throwing the ball.
The safest way to hold the ball (and the easiest way to remember) is to put your right hand at the three o’clock position and your left hand at nine o’clock. Just keep your hands on the middle-sides of the ball. This will give you a good grip and will allow you to get the most control on your throws.
Once you are used to the three and nine o’clock positions, this you can slide your hands a bit further back to give yourself a bit more distance on your throw. This will only be necessary if you are going to be attempting a long throw.
Positioning Your Feet
Unlike other soccer skills, foot positioning on a throw-in is actually quite simple to get comfortable with. It is a lot easier to learn how to use both hands while throwing than it is to learn how to kick with both feet.
All you have to do is line your feet up so you are facing where you want to throw the ball. They don’t have to be perfectly lined up, but you also don’t want them to be too far apart or facing in different directions.
The other important part of feet positioning is staying behind the sideline. You have to make sure that both feet stay behind it or it will be deemed an illegal throw. Even though many refs don’t want to stop the game for this infraction, it’s still a smart idea not to break this rule.
Throwing the Ball
When you are getting ready to throw the ball in, you have to arch your back as much as you can. This will force you to get power from your lower body and to get a lot of torque on the ball. At this point, your feet should be planted on the ground so your focus can be on your upper body.
When you bring the ball forward, make sure that you follow through no matter how far you are throwing the ball. This will keep the ball from going too high and will allow you to get good accuracy on the throw.
When you are first starting out, you should focus on your throwing form more than the amount of power you are getting on the throws. Once you are completely comfortable throwing the ball in, then you can add some zip to the ball.
Get Back in Bounds
After you have thrown the ball onto the field of play, you need to get back in bounds as quickly as possible. Not only will this allow you to quickly make yourself available for a pass back, you will also be able to defend in case your team can not secure the ball.
Even though you should get back in bounds quickly, you need to make sure that you complete a legal throw-in before you move across the line. Even pros sometimes forget this step and commit an illegal throw-in. This is why practicing your throw-ins and gaining chemistry with your teammates is so important; after a while you won’t even have to think about each step of the process and will be able to focus on making the best throw-in that you can!