Khel Now’s new series takes you back to school as we revisit some of the basics of football…

In love with the Beautiful Game? Want to try your luck at it? Wondering how and where to start? There’s no need to worry. Khel Now is here to assist you in finding the net. Our new series ‘Gully Football with Gurudinho’ takes you back to school as we run through some of the basics of football. In Episode 1 we run through the drill to perfect the widely-used side-foot pass.

What is the side-foot pass?
The side-foot pass is generally known as “push pass” or “Inside foot pass”. These are other names given to side-foot passing by coaches for the convenience to teach beginners. It is the most reliable and accurate type of pass for short distances. Its accuracy comes from the fact that it utilizes the largest surface area of the foot. It’s more like striking the ball towards the target than driving the ball. It is one of the most used skills at all level and thus is practiced widely.

Keys to Success

1. Angle of approach: – one should always try to keep the target, ball and body in a straight line

2. Non kicking foot: – one should always plant his non-kicking foot alongside the ball, keeping approximately 6-10” gap between the ball and the foot.

3. Body weight:- Carry all your weight on your standing leg.

4. Point of contact:- Contact with the ball should always be made through the middle.

5. Kicking foot: – Turn the foot to an angle of 90 degree and lock the ankle by pulling it towards your body, Bend your knee and create a large surface area. Try to think of the striking leg as a hockey stick.

6. Contact surface: – Swing the striking leg towards the ball aiming to strike through the middle of the ball with the instep, the soft, curved part of the inside of the foot providing enough surface area to hit the ball with power.

7. Body position: – Try to keep your head down, opposite arm wide open for balance and follow through the ball keeping all the body weight on the standing foot.

How to practice?

Practice against the wall. Pass the ball towards the wall with the side of the foot and try to control it with the side of the foot. As you progress you would find it easy to play the pass into wall and control it. You can even pass back on rebounds.

Useful Tips

Go step wise, start slow, keep targets (50 passes for each leg, hit the target set on the wall). Aim to be the player in your team who can receive the ball and play a simple side-foot pass to keep the ball moving and to keep possession.

Flummoxed by some of the technicalities? No problem. We understand. Watch the video below and follow our experts step for step. Happy learning and happy playing.

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Report by Khel Now-Content Editor Mrunal Nakashe. A sports buff, he’s also a foreign policy enthusiast and keen North Korea watcher. Mrunal loves gaming, reading, traveling and is a self-confessed Football Manager addict. You can follow him on Twitter.