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Intermediate Passing – Chipping

INTERMEDIATE PASSING – CHIPPING

Chipping in soccer is a pass, and sometimes a shot, which is lofted over the top of a defender.  Unlike the lofted pass, however, the chip pass generally has a higher arc and, because backspin is imparted to the ball when it is struck, the ball tends to stop when it strikes the ground, instead of running on.   The techniques for the chip pass (chip, chip kick, chipped kick, chipped pass, chip shot, chipped shot) represent further modifications to the skills of the instep drive.  After players have mastered the instep drive, demonstrating that they can use proper form to kick the ball effectively with the part of the foot covered by the shoe laces, they may be introduced to chipping.  Young players may not have the leg strength to initially get the desired flight to the ball, but they should be continually challenged to attempt chipping until it can be properly performed.

There are two types of chips.  The first type involves pointing the foot to the side of the body and then sweeping the foot under the ball, like a 9-iron or a pitching wedge in golf, in order to obtain height and backspin.  The second type involves stabbing at the bottom of the ball with the toes and lower part of the instep.  This discussion will focus on the sweeping, golf-club style of chip.  It tends to be easier to learn and is a logical extension of the lofted pass.  Further, it is easily combined with the introduction of the through pass as part of an offensive progression.  In either case, chipping is best first introduced on natural grass because of the high likelihood of the foot contacting the ground.

 In order to chip the ball, modifications to the instep drive are introduced that include changes to the angle of approach to the ball, placement of the non-kicking (or “plant”) foot, the angle and position of the kicking foot, and the location on the ball to be struck.  The run up to the ball should start at approximately 45-degrees from straight-on.  The non-kicking foot still needs to be pointed in the direction of the kick but needs to be approximately six inches behind and approximately nine inches outside of the ball.  Because of the angle of approach, the ankle of the plant foot will have to be turned when sticking to the ground.  The kicking foot needs to be pointed to the outside of the body and the ball is to be struck in the center at its base as low as possible.  Like the instep drive, the ankle of the kicking foot is locked at the time of contact with the ball. Unlike the instep drive, only a short follow-through is used.

 For really young players, a lot of this information can be overwhelming and they should be allowed to just work on their own to try to get loft on the ball.  As with any pass, emphasis should always be placed on the importance of accuracy, ensuring that the ball makes it over the defender and to the intended recipient.   Similarly, coaches are reminded that both legs must be training equally.

 The recommended progression for introducing the chip pass is:

Demonstration

Pairs with Ball

Pairs with Ball Over Cone

Pairs with Ball Over Flag

Pairs with Ball Over Defender

Receiver Moving

Ball Dribbled

Game Situation

 Demonstration

The coach should announce that he is going to introduce “chipping” and the “chipped pass” and show the expected end result.  From a position in the defensive half of the field the coach should demonstrate a chipped pass, over a “defender” assistant coach, directed toward an “attacking” assistant coach who is closer to the goal.  This may be done first with a stationary ball, then with a moving ball, then with the “attacking” assistant coach moving toward the goal.  After having explained the purpose of the chipped pass, the coach should then demonstrate the mechanics, explaining each of the modifications to the instep drive from approach, placement of the plant foot, outside turn of the kicking foot to form a wedge, leg swing, and the part of the ball being struck with the proper part of the foot, to follow-through.  Showing an actual golf club, specifically a 9-iron or a pitching wedge, is an extremely effective device to demonstrate the proper positioning of the kicking foot.

#16 - Instep-Face

#16 – Instep-Face

 

 Pairs with Ball

Set up two players with a ball at enough distance apart to allow for long kicks, based on the age and leg strength of the players.  Players are to first kick stationary balls back-and-forth, trying to achieve chips while sending the ball to their teammate.  Players should then tap the ball out in front and move on to the ball to attempt the same skill.  Players may start by kicking with their dominant leg, but then they must be asked to switch legs in order to train both legs equally.

 Pairs with Ball Over Cone

 Coaches may then place cones between the pairs of players and ask that they repeat the training above while chipping the ball over the cone.  Again, both legs should be used.

 Pairs with Ball Over Flag

Coaches may then replace the cones between the pairs of players with corner flags, “coaching posts,” or mannequins and then ask that the players repeat the training above while chipping the ball over the posts.  Again, both legs should be used.

 Pairs with Ball Over Defender

Coaches may then divide the players into groups of three.  One of the players is to be designated as the first defender, who replaces the post between the pairs of players.  Players are asked to repeat the training above while chipping the ball over the defender.  The defender must turn around in place to see the kicks as the ball is sent back-and-forth. The players are to be rotated so that each one is a defender.  The defender can first be stationary and then be allowed some restricted movement.  Again, both legs should be used.

 Receiver Moving

With players still in groups of three, an initial receiver may be designated to start next to the defender and then initiate the action by moving toward a goal.  The defender is instructed to remain stationary or move slightly toward the kicker.  The kicker is instructed to perform the chipped pass over the defender and to the receiver.  The players are to be rotated so that each one is a defender.  Again, both legs should be used.

Ball Dribbled

The training above is repeated, but with the kickers dribbling the ball before making the pass.  The dribbling may be slowly at first but then quickened as success is achieved.  When the ball is moving forward just before being struck, allowance must be made for the plant foot to be in the correct place as the ball moves into the position to be struck.  This may be demonstrated by showing that the plant foot is placed beside the ball as the ball rolls past it into position.

 Game Situation

Coaches may then set up any drill, such as 4 v. 2 in a very large space with no goals, where the four players on offense, whenever they receive the ball, are directed to dribble and then send a chipped pass to a teammate.  Defenders should be asked to just get between the player with the ball and possible receivers, not to try to take the ball away.  If this is used, again coaches need to remember to rotate the offensive and defensive players frequently.  Emphasis should be added that this is the opportunity to use both legs equally.  Coaches may also set up a through-ball-style scenario where the ball is chipped as opposed to sent through.

 Soccer Coaching Tips

For young players, coaches may simply point to the contact spot on the ball and say, “Turn your foot out and kick it here.”  Similarly, coaches might say that loft is achieved by “sweeping the foot under the ball.”

Players often try to kick the ball too hard, loosing accuracy in the process.  Coaches should remind players that accuracy must be maintained while striving for loft and to not to try to “kill the ball.”

Players should be reminded to take a quick peek at the receiver, pick the proper spot on the ball to kick, and then see their foot contact the ball at that spot (“eyes on the ball”).

Coaches should remind players that ultimately the loft on the ball should be high enough to clear the defender even if he jumps or is able to move backward.

Coaches need to observe each player to offer corrections in order to achieve the desired results.  Problems may be manifested by such things as lack of distance, lack of accuracy, lack of backspin or lack of loft.  Distance is helped by a firm plant foot, a longer follow through, and encouragement that the ball can be kicked harder.  A lack of accuracy tends to be a misplaced plant foot.  Lack of backspin or loft may be caused by the player approaching the ball straight on, the inside of the foot being used instead of wedge of the instep, the ball not being struck in the correct place, or the eyes may be coming off the ball too soon.

As with all passes, chips can cover different distances.  Once players have mastered the basic techniques of chipping, they should be challenged to make effective chips from short to long range.

Coaches should point out the need for the passer and receiver to properly address not going offside using the chip pass in an attacking situation.

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