You’ve probably noticed that your team has literally been throwing away a lot of possessions during throw-ins instead of taking advantage of this great situation. Since every throw-in provides a chance to start an attacking movement, retaining possession is very important. One of the best ways to retain possession is through the creation of space. There are several ways in which space can be created and each of these methods can used by players of pee wee age up to middle school and later.
1) Throw-ins To An Unmarked Player
First, the ball can be thrown to an unmarked player in a space. The best chance of success with this method is if the throw-in is taken quickly. The nearest player, no matter what his position, should be prepared to take the throw.
A supporting fullback or a player who has moved quickly from another area and arrives unmarked and in space are often in the best position to receive such a throw. Space is of the utmost importance because it means time is created to use the ball. It can be created by speed off the mark to shake off a defender or in the space that was just created.
2) Decoy Movements
An interchange of positions and decoy move¬ments is another way to make space. Two players quickly switch positions and the thrower selects the player who has created the most space. In turn, one player runs, calling for the ball, and creates space for a teammate where he started his run from.
Although this may sound simple, timing is crucial and it will take practice to become successful. Time should be spent on the accuracy of the throw. This is often neglected and yet is a major cause of failure. The ball should be thrown directly to the head or feet and not allowed to bounce up to the stomach area where it will take more time to control. This is the most important technical consideration.
3) Movement Positioning
Many other movements can be performed in order to create space. Train your players to move in close to the thrower, then suddenly move away for the ball to be thrown into his movement or over his head. This is a more aggressive soccer skill that can be very successful when there is no cover on the player who is marking your player. Once your team has acquired a certain amount of skill try it with a player marking them.
In a match, throw-ins will be influenced by the way your opponents mark and the position of the throw. Remember to throw the ball in quickly when the situation presents itself because defenders sometimes move slowly into position. Also remember that your team can’t be offside directly from a throw-in.
Improvement will be almost immediate but success will not come overnight. Work and be patient and above all have confidence in the knowledge that practice will give results. Where pre¬viously you had been giving the ball away you’re now taking advantage of the fact that you have the game in your hands.