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A young player, under pressure from an opponent, passes the ball with the inside of her foot during a match on a 3G pitch.

Inside of the foot

The inside of the foot is traditionally the technique players master first. This simple side-foot approach is a great way to pass the ball accurately.

It’s common to see players use this technique as they recycle the ball along the back line. But so too, when passing quickly in the final third. Just look at how England use quick, accurate side-foot passes to create this goal against Luxembourg.

Outside of the foot

This is a more advanced technique to use. It’s quicker and more deceptive than using the inside of the foot, as players don’t have to open their body up to play the pass. It requires a lot of practice to get right, though. So be patient and allow players plenty of opportunities to try it.

This passage of play
shows two great examples. First, Nottingham Forest’s Sam Surridge finds himself being closed down. Instead of waiting to pass with his left foot, he quickly jabs the ball with the outside of his right foot to utilise the gap in front of him and deceive his opponents. Then, as Morgan Gibbs-White spins away from pressure, using the same technique, he bends an exquisite pass out wide to Brennan Johnson, who controls and scores.


This is all about getting some height to pass over an opponent. To do that, players need to strike underneath the ball with their instep.

This is a useful technique if the opposition plays with a high line. Time this right and the ball could sail over the defence and into space for a teammate to get in behind the opposition. Play the video to see examples of this type of pass in action.


If you want to bend the ball around an opponent, this is a good technique to use.  

To execute this pass, players need to:  

  • be at an acute angle to the ball  
  • plant their non-kicking foot to the side of the ball while ensuring it’s angled towards the front of the ball  
  • wrap their kicking foot around the opposite side of the ball using their instep.  

Searching for an example? Look no further than Keira Walsh’s wonderful pass to send Ella Toone through on goal in the Women’s Euro 2022 final. She curls it around the nearest opponent and between the two centre-halves. A perfect pass.


Looking to pass with speed and purpose? This technique is ideal for getting the ball from A to B in a hurry. Often used to thread the ball through small gaps over longer distances, this is handy for quickly picking out a teammate in space.  

To make this powerful pass, players must strike through the middle of the ball with their laces or instep. 

Check out the video to see what this pass looks like.  


Understanding the different types of passing techniques can help you support your team’s development. And while this article covers a lot, there are still many other techniques to explore. 

As a top tip, whenever your team practise passing, try to observe:  

  • how they approach the ball  
  • what their body positioning is like
  • how they contact the ball.  

If they get all the above right for each technique, they’ll soon master the art of passing.  

So, now you know some of the ways players can pass, check out this article to discover how you can coach the skill effectively.  

Then continue the conversation – and let us know your favourite passes in football – by visiting the England Football Community.