The Quick Switch – Blind Pass

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Xabi Alonso Long Ball

Think about playing a pass or cross that will surprise the other team. Dribble to the right with your right foot and then swing a pass to the left, sending almost a blind pass to the other side of the soccer field. It’s the opposite way if you use your left. Dribble to the left side of the field and swing a ball back to the right side of the field.

The defender on the other side will not expect the pass. Hopefully you will catch the opposing team sleeping. You are selling the idea that you’re going to the side you are dribbling towards when in fact your intention is to swing the ball over to the opposite side. Teammates will adjust to the expectation that a switch is coming.

Sometimes you can dribble a few times in the opposite direction you really want to play the ball – to throw the defense off – then you swing the ball to the other side of the field. It doesn’t have to be a long switch, just a quick cut back to the other direction can create a goal scoring opportunity.

Of course, this is a pass that has to be done at the right time and the right part of the field. It might a counter attack or when you have the ball in the attacking third. One player who is excellent at switching the ball to the other side of the soccer field is Xabi Alonso. It might seem like he doesn’t see a player making a run, as his body is turned a bit to the opposite side, but he’ll pick out that player when you least expect it. Here Xabi Alonso hits a ball to Garcia sort of off the volley, but he doesn’t even need to look. He knows Garcia is making the run or should be.

Here Xabi Alonso hits a long ball right to the foot of his teammate. While not a blind pass it still catches Barcelona off guard.

Xabi Alonso, the pass-master, discusses the art of ball striking, his favorite midfielders and watching other sports to improve his game.

And the pass doesn’t necessarily have to be along ball or switch. Turning your body in the opposite direction you want to play the ball can throw off and deceive the defense.

Here, I think the defenders think Daniel Ceballos is going to play the ball back, as he turns he body a bit away from goal, so they push out of the box, and that enables him to slip the ball behind the defense.

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