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In soccer, if we let the goal aside, the play that catches all the flashes is the dribble; players become famous worldwide thanks to their dribble ability. But there is another play in soccer, twice as effective as the dribble, way less appreciated, the wall pass. The question is, do you know what is a wall pass in soccer?
A wall pass is a soccer play where player A passes the ball to their teammate, player B, and sprint around the defender; then player B returns the ball to player A. Now the defender is eliminated, and player A progresses in the field towards the opposite goal.
It also has several names, one-two, give & go, and of course, wall pass. It is perhaps the oldest trick in soccer’s book, and still, it works almost every time. The wall pass can be used in any part of the field, and it is one of the simplest means to defeat opponents.
What is a wall pass in soccer?
The wall pass is one of the first tricks that coaches teach their young players. This play is less risky than the dribble; it upgrades the teamwork, and it also stimulates the player’s imagination.
It is an offensive move, meant to attack the rival’s field, but it can be used in any circumstance. Coming out of defense, progressing through the midfield, or getting into the rival’s box. It has even been brilliantly used in a penalty kick.
To perform a wall pass, the player holding the ball needs a teammate giving support diagonally in front of them—the player giving support acts as a wall as they return the ball generally right from where they stand.
One of the wall pass’ secrets to success is speed. Both the pass and the player need to be fast. The first pass needs to be firm and with a reasonable acceleration. Then the run around the defender needs to be fast too. It is the one returning the ball job to calculate where the pass should go.
It is essential to run around the defender, surpassing them behind and not in front of them. If the run is made in front of the defender, it gives them a reference and can easily follow the play.
If you are moving slow, the defender has bigger chances of reading the movements and chasing either the ball or the player running and cutting the pass.
The defender needs to be close to the player with the ball before the pass. If the defender is far, they would have time to read and react to the wall pass, and the chances of losing the ball are big.
But not too close; if the defender is too close, they would have the chance to intercept the ball, killing the play before it is born.
Sometimes, it could happen that the defender, even knowing they can’t stop the wall pass, will try to intercept and disturb the advance of the player seeking the return pass. It is then the support player’s job to delay the pass or even not launching the ball.
The wall pass can also be used to dribble. Player A would fake the pass to player B and keep running with the ball.
The player giving support has several options for finishing the play. They can fake the return pass and keep the ball, they can hold the ball and delay the pass, or they can even assist a third player that lost their mark due to the one-two movement.
A wall pass can even be double or triple; it can be performed with air balls, long and short passes.
The support player needs to learn how to assist their teammate and know where to stand to offer a passing possibility.
Some coaches advise that player A should announce the play before launching the pass. A loud and clear “Wall pass” will help player B solve quicker since before receiving the ball an instruction is given, they would tend to act in autopilot and won’t waste time thinking what to do.
Types of wall ball pass in soccer
A wall pass is essentially one. The second player acts as a wall bouncing the ball to the first player. The play can be made to progress vertically or horizontally in any part of the field. The second player can be still or in movement, and the play can repeat itself two, three, or even more times. It would depend on the players’ quality and ability and on rivals’ opposition.
The different types of wall pass depend on the players’ creativity and improvisation capacity. A wall pass can lead to a crossing into the box, a shot to goal, into a third pass to an unmarked teammate, and so forth. Here are some examples of wall pass variations.
- Wall Pass And Third Man Run. In this play, after receiving the ball from the support player, the first man touches the ball to a third man running into the space created by the pass wall. Here’s a beautiful example of this movement in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
- Wall Pass During Build-Up. This movement is a little risky. It consists of first using the goalkeeper as the support player, and then a third player will take the goalkeeper’s place as a support player. When the goalkeeper receives the ball, opposite forwards smell blood and go after them, creating space for other players to participate in pass exchange.
- Short-short-long pass. This variation of the wall pass consists of two short passes between the first and second players, just as in the regular wall pass play, with the difference that after the completion of the first two passes, a third player receives a first touch long ball.
- One-two delay pass to finish. The wall pass in this movement consists of the support player delaying the second pass for a bit and releasing the ball inside the box “sugary,” ready to finish. In this variation, the first pass eliminates the first defender, and the second one, the delayed pass, eliminates the last defensive line.
- Double-wall pass to shoot. In this wall pass variation, three players are involved. Player B and C exchange roles as the support player and player A initiates the movement and shoot to the goal. First, player A passes the ball to player B, who, instead of returning the ball the player A, passes the ball to a third player, player C. Now player C becomes the support player and passes the ball to player A, who is already set to shoot into the box.
Soccer passing wall equipment
As mentioned above, the wall pass and the player’s creativity is intimately linked. It is essentially a movement to eliminate defenders, but it can lead to virtually any game situation, shooting, crossing, sorting out opposition pressing, build-up, and more. The wall pass can even be used as a warmup.
When practicing wall pass, there’s no need for a lot of equipment, but some gadgets can obviously be handy. Here’s a list of some of them.
- A soccer ball.
Yes, it is not possible to train this movement without a soccer ball. For this training, as for any soccer training, it is recommended to use balls with a butyl bladder, like the Adidas MLS training ball. Butyl bladder balls have better air retention than the ones equipped with latex and synthetic rubber bladders.
2. Pro Disc Cones.
These cones must be used to signalize several details in the field. It can be to simulate teammates’ positions, rivals, or even to simulate the field boundaries. They are made of bright colors, easy to see from far. They are light and resistant. Disc cones can be stepped on several times, and they would come back to their original form.
3. Dummy Defender – Training Mannequin.
This equipment is meant to increase the player’s dribbling skills, passing, and even free-kicks skills. Dummy defenders offer a better reference to footballers when training when passing the ball or dribbling. The GoSports training dummy will occupy a space in the field and block the player’s vision.
4. Portable soccer goal.
This miniature goal is ideal for training player’s shooting accuracy. As training in an open field without a proper soccer goal is a possibility, these mini soccer goals offer a reference for players so they can increase their shooting sharpness. This device is ideal for training wall pass exercises with finishing variation. The Franklin Blackhawk is an excellent choice because it comes in multiple sizes, 4′ x 3′, 6’6″ x 3’3″, and 12′ x 6′. It is light and easy to mount, and it includes a tie-down device that gives the goal excellent stability.
Soccer rebounder net. The rebounder net is for solo trainers. Those who haven’t a trainer partner or coach, or those who like to go the extra mile and keep training after the training session is over. As its names indicate, the rebounder net’s function is to return the ball. It can be used to increase the passing accuracy and as a support player in a wall pass training. SKLZ offers an excellent option of rebounder net; its frame is light, effortless to carry.