Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Secrets to a perfect pass- Three skills every soccer player should practice

Posted by http://www.athletesadvisor.com
I have to admit, when I saw the title of this book and was hoping for a football book. As a former QB I am always looking for info on the Perfect Pass. Then again, the perfect pass in football is a completed one! Or one for a first down on 3nd and long...either way, I was wrong, this is about soccer and in our self centered universe, the art of passing is very often overlooked. I might argue that the ability to pass and set up a goal is as prized as a big footed goal basher...either way, this book might help you pass the ball better and in turn score more goals, but more pressure on the opponent and keep the ball away from their big guns...

Champaign, IL--Passing and support are some of the most important aspects of a soccer game. Soccer is a game of possession, and games are often won by the team that keeps possession of the ball for a longer time. "When under pressure, the player who passes rather than dribbles generally has a better chance of succeeding," says soccer legend Michael Parker. "It's vital that all players learn to be good passer of the ball, and it's especially important that they realize when and where to pass the ball."

In Premier Soccer (Human Kinetics, 2008), Parker addresses three factors that contribute to a skillful pass:

  1. Accuracy. A player must be able to strike the ball correctly and accurately, most often aiming at a teammate's feet. The most accurate technique is to use the side of the foot, with the toe rotated outward. This kind of pass should be used for shorter distances of 5 to 20 yards. For longer passes, the instep of the foot should be used. This type of pass is more powerful but more difficult to do accurately. Defenders try to read the pass so that they can quickly get into position to intercept it or quickly close down the player receiving the ball. Thus the attacker needs to disguise the pass as well as possible--for example, by running in one direction and passing in the other, by changing direction quickly, or by faking or delaying the pass.
  2. Timing. The ball must be released at the right time. If it is released too soon, the receiving player may not have had time to get into good position to receive it; if it is released too late, players may have run offside or into positions where they can no longer receive it. As a general rule, if the pressuring defender is farther away than the player who is the target of the pass, then it is too soon to make the pass.
  3. Pace and power. The speed of the pass makes a huge difference. During keep-away sessions in practice, it's critical to put good pace on the ball in order to create a better rhythm and make it harder for defenders to intercept the ball. In game play, however, good judgment is essential: If a pass is too slow, it will be intercepted. If it is too strong, the receiving player may have difficulty controlling it. So passing speed should be adjusted to the conditions of the field, the particulars of the game, and the ability of teammates. In general, the better the receiver, the faster the pass should be. Passers must work hard to put good pace on the ball, and the player receiving the ball must work even harder to control it. The passer knows he has done well when the receiver can do anything he wants with it on the first touch.

In Premier Soccer, Parker presents intermediate to advanced techniques and tactics and the keys to using them in various situations during the heat of the match. He also provides the key elements for team success, including set plays, restarts, practice drills, and systems of play proven to work for his championship teams. For more information on Premier Soccer, contact Human Kinetics at 800-747-4457 or visit www.HumanKinetics.com.

Michael Parker
Paperback · 208 pp
ISBN 978-0-7360-6824-6 · $18.95

Michael Parker, the wins leader among active Division I men's soccer coaches, has won six national titles in 30 years of collegiate head coaching experience spanning all three NCAA levels. He has been at University of North Carolina at Greensboro since 1984, taking a club program and leading it to success in Division III (two national titles) and Division I (fourth among Division I active coaches with a winning percentage of .736).

His teams have made 19 NCAA tournament appearances, and in 1993 he became the first men's soccer coach in NCAA history to lead a team to the tournament in all three divisions. During his tenure, UNCG has won 10 conference titles, including six during its Division I era. Parker's 2004 team was ranked No. 1 in polls for much of the season. Parker also won three national titles while head coach at Lock Haven in 1977 and 1978 (Division III) and 1980 (Division II) and three national titles at the semipro level with the USISL's Greensboro Dynamo in 1993, 1994, and 1995.


Chapter 1. Winning Attitude

Chapter 2. Roles of Players and Coaches

Chapter 3. Attacking Skills and Tactics

Chapter 4. Defending Skills and Tactics

Chapter 5. Systems of Play

Chapter 6. Set Plays and Restarts

Chapter 7. Physical Conditioning and Nutrition

Chapter 8. Practice Sessions

Chapter 9. Matches

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