An Excerpt from the US Youth Soccer Skills School Manual – available in full under “Player Development Resources” on the ASC website.
(The age group in maroon is the age group when you should focus on developing the skill.)
Remember that the throw-in is a pass and so it should have the same qualities as a pass made on the field of play. As with any pass, a throw-in made into the field of play must be for penetration or possession.
- Feet flat (U7/U8)
- One foot flat & up on toes of the other foot (U7/U8)
- Plant feet (U7/U8)
- Drag one foot (U7/U8)
Key Coaching Points
- Preparation: feet flat and square on the ground (about shoulder width apart) or feet staggered with one foot forward and flat on the ground and the other behind with the heel raised; knees bent for good balance; sight where to throw the ball; turn the hips in that direction; the palms of the hands while holding the ball should face the direction the thrower wishes the ball to take; the grip of the ball is similar to the W grip of goalkeepers
- Contact: hands should be at the back of the ball (the diamond grip works well for small hands); ball behind the head with the elbows bent; lean the upper torso backward at the waist and knees bent forward for counterbalance; throw with both hands coming forward simultaneously; the legs straighten now; the upper torso snaps forward; head steady for balance; weight is evenly distributed to both feet; if one foot is in front of the other the weight should be transferred from the rear to the front foot during the course of the throwing action; the ball should not leave the hands until the ball is over or just beyond the head
- Follow Through: follow through smoothly with the hands towards your target (finish with the fingertips pointing towards the target); keep the feet touching the ground; keep both feet pointed toward the target; do not step forward until the ball has left the hands
Key Coaching Points
- Preparation: start one or two yards back from the touchline; move forward with quick, short steps; sight where to throw the ball; turn the hips in that direction; the back is fully arched after the run up
- Contact: all points are the same as with the standing throw plus at the end of the run up to the touchline the feet can plant together firmly on the ground with a small forward hop or one foot in front of the other while dragging the toe of the trail leg; toes of the lead leg or both feet pointing towards the target; throw with both hands coming forward simultaneously
- Follow Through: follow through smoothly with the hands towards the target; keep some part of the feet touching the ground; do not step forward until the ball has left the hands
Training Activity: On the Mark
Practice the throw by having a competition with your teammate to see who can hit the target (use cones or corner flags) placed at different distances. First one to knock them all down in the fewest tries wins. It must be a legal throw-in to count.
Figure 18 On The Mark