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Youth soccer coaching tips: Four qualities of a good pass
The four qualities of a good soccer pass are accuracy, pace, timing and disguise. The paragraphs below describe each of these characteristics.
A soccer pass must be accurate. A player must be able to pass a ball to a specific spot on the field. Without accuracy, none of the other passing qualities will make a difference. Passing accuracy is very important.
Pace, or weight, refers to the speed of the ball. A player will strike the ball hard to generate a lot of pace. Whereas a touch pass will have less pace. A long through ball will generally need more pace to get past defenders. A simple drop pass to a nearby teammate will require less pace.
Timing refers to the interval between when a player passes the ball and when the ball reaches the destination. A running teammate would not have to break their stride if a pass has good timing. A properly timed pass will give a teammate enough time to receive the ball and act.
Disguise means not telegraphing the pass. In other words, a player should disguise their pass in every way possible. A surprising pass will catch defenders off guard. A pass in an unexpected direction will cause defenders to scramble. Disguise makes passes harder to defend.
When a player masters all four qualities (accuracy, pace, timing and disguise), their passing becomes lethal. There is no better example of this then FC Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez. He directs his passes masterfully and effortlessly. Xavi is a major reason why FC Barcelona score many goals. [Video: Xavi pass compilation]
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Edwin Torres has been coaching competitive youth soccer since 2001. He enjoys coaching, playing and watching the game of soccer.
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