5 Ways Players Can Learn to Play Passes That Break Lines
Schooling your players on how to pick passes that break lines, like playing a pass that takes four midfielders out of the game with one stroke of the ball, is a skill that involves game intelligence and mind's-eye vision.
All players can learn to identify and complete these kinds of passes, it just takes focused practice and dedication.
Here are 5 ways players can learn to play passes that break lines.
1. Get Players Moving Off the Ball
In order to play passes that break the lines, you've got to have willing runners moving off the ball in front of the player in possession.
Developing a culture of selfless running is a very important key to playing through the lines of your opponents, this requires fit players that can physically make those sprints, but also mandates tactically astute players, players that have mastered the art of timing, positioning and bending their runs to perfection.
2. Rondo with a Set Condition
Using rondo, i.e. a game of keep away from defending players in the middle of a group trying to win the ball, with a set condition that players in possession must pass to their teammates beyond a middle line of the grid, will enforce the habit of playing balls that can cut through the lines.
Using rondo is a great way for the players to start to understand this concept, and will help them process the decisions to play these types of passes in a game.
3. Paint the Picture
Recognizing and then being able to execute passes that break the lines requires elevated game intelligence, superb vision, and high-level decision making in the blink of an eye, but you don't have to be the biggest, or the strongest, or even the fastest with your physical body to complete these passes.
Your brain is the biggest muscle that has to be develop and built into a supercomputer that can process millions of functions per touch.
Learning to have a vision in your mind of the next moment, before it arrives, is key to helping learn the art of line breaking passes.
4. Scan at All Times
A great pass-master will always have their head on a swivel, constantly scanning, and checking their shoulder to evaluate the time and spaces around them as they play.
The goal is to become a 360 degree player that constantly plots different angles and needed-weights to connect passes that split or heavily disrupt the organization of your opponents midfield and back line.
Soccer-vision is something that comes with time, practice and game upon game under the intensity and pressure of competition.
5. Nurture the X-factor
The greatest maestros have that something special in their locker, the x-factor that helps them hone in on defense-splitting passes that create clear goal-scoring chances and creative forays into the attacking-third.
Reinforcing the positive aspects of expressing creativity and invention is something that is greatly needed in the development of players at all ages, there has to be room for nurturing the x-factor in your team.