The Backheel

Soccer backheel techniques are simple to learn, and the main element to passing using the backheel effectively is vision. It’s no use at all playing a backheel into a vacant space, or to one of your opponents! The secret of good vision and awareness is to look around before receiving the ball, and to receive the ball sideways-on rather than front-on whenever possible to get a better view of the play.

The backheel technique is to make contact with the heel dead-on to the ball, that is, with the middle of the heel striking the centre of the ball. The non-kicking foot is kept close to the ball for support. As well as using the heel, the ball can also be played behind us by using the sole (underside) of the foot. Use as large an area of the sole as possible, dragging over the ball from around the toes to the heel. This technique is generally more accurate than using the heel, but has less power.

A simple soccer drill for the backheel is for two players in a small square to make diagonal runs to opposite corners. Player one runs with the ball to the opposite corner, and after passing the middle of the square, player two makes a run to the opposite corner. The backheel must be timed and weighted, so that player two receives the ball without having to break his stride.