Next time you watch any good football on TV - for example, the English Premier League - notice how many players on the team use the receive-then-short pass technique. Almost everyone, right? And quite often, right?
Good players make this skill look effortless - so easy in fact that you can take it for granted how difficult and how crucial it is to high-level play.
the receive-then-pass play is important on every part of the field, but it's especially important when attacking. The closer the ball gets to the opponent's goal, the tighter the spaces become that a player must attack through. This means that there are likely to be more opponents, closer together near the goal ... so an attacking player must
- rapidly bring the ball under control when receiving a pass and
- then direct a smooth and accurate pass to a (hopefully-scoring) teammate.
So why is it then that most amateur footballers and developing young players (at least here in Australia) don't effectively use this technique in games?
Good question. We wonder that, too. Which is why in our next post we'll tell you about a test we've developed to measure this skill and improve it through practice.
Written by Robbie Wilson, PhD with Amanda Niehaus, PhD