How to Lob or Chip the Ball in Soccer

Once you gain possession of the ball, your opponents will do everything they can to prevent you from scoring. They move and position themselves so that they act as a barrier between you and the goal. The easiest way to get to the goal and try to score is to go around your opponent, but that isn’t always possible. That is why it is important that you know how to properly lob or chip the ball.

Lob or Chip the Ball to Get it Over an Opponent

Whether you lob or chip, the goal is the same; to get the ball to another place – such as further down the field, to a teammate or into the goal – without having it come into contact with your opponent.

With a lob or chip, you kick the ball in such a way that it lifts vertically in the air and moves in a forward direction. The ball is lifted so high in the air that it goes over your opponents head.

What is the Difference Between a Lob or a Chip?

A lob and a chip are almost exactly the same thing. There are only a few minor differences.

The biggest difference between a lob and a chip is the distance covered. A lob pass is used to move the ball not only over an opponent’s head, but also move it long distances down the field. A chip is more focused upon moving the ball over an opponent’s head. The ball will still move forwards, but it is only a short distance forwards unlike the lob which can be across or down the field.

Another difference between a lob and a chip is when they are used. A lob can be used as a method of passing, moving the ball down the field or shooting on goal. A chip, on the other hand, is most commonly used as a way to get the ball over a goalie’s head and into the net. It can be used on the field during a penalty kick, a pass to a teammate or while working to move the ball down the field, but it is mostly used as a method of scoring.

Same Technique is Used Perform a Lob or Chip

The same technique is used whether you perform a lob or a chip. The only difference is in the force you use to kick the ball and accuracy.

For a lob, you will want to kick the ball harder in order for it to get enough power to move high in the air and move a greater distance. For a chip, you don’t need as much force, instead you are focused on getting it high enough in the air to reach over the goalie’s head and not get caught.

When it comes to accuracy, you want to be more accurate with a chip shot than a lob. Accuracy is important with a chip because you are usually trying to get it to a very specific target, such as the goal, and there is very little room for error.

For a lob, you still want to be accurate, but because you are usually passing to a fellow teammate, there is more room for error. If you aren’t completely accurate, your teammate can move to get the ball.

How to Lob the Ball

The key to performing a successful lob is accuracy, height and power.

Follow these directions to learn how to properly lob the ball:

  1. Dribble the ball in a forward motion as you set up your shot.
  2. Quickly look around and past your opponent and find where you want the ball to go
  3. Slow down dribbling the ball. Don’t slow down too much so the ball stops. You want to slow down just enough that you can get enough power and force under the ball when you kick.
  4. Aim the ball so it is slightly at a 45 degree angle in front of you
  5. Move forward towards the ball. Plant the non-kicking foot next to the ball, but not too close. Make sure you have enough room to kick the opposite leg.
  6. Take the kicking leg, move it slightly backwards and swing it forwards. Make sure you approach the ball at a 45 degree ankle with the leg as this will help increase the power and force of the kick.
  7. Strike the underside of the ball with the upper inside portion of the foot on the kicking leg. This will give the ball the lift you need to get it in the air and the power to move it down the field.
  8. Keep the toes downwards when kicking and hitting the ball. Keeping the toe or foot downwards will allow you to scoop the ball which helps elevate it to the height you want or need to get it over your opponent’s head.

Become Elite has a great video that shows how to perform a successful lob. View the video below to see a step- by-step guide on how to lob.

How to Chip the Ball

The same steps listed above are used to chip the ball. There are only a few slight differences. The following are things you will do differently if you want to chip the ball instead of lobbing it:

  1. Hit the ball with less force. You don’t need as much force with a chip as you aren’t moving the ball a long distance.
  2. Strike the ball with the top of your foot. Get the foot under the ball, but instead of using the upper inside of the foot, you will want to hit the ball with the laces of your shoe on the kicking foot.
  3. Scoop the ball more. Getting further underneath the ball before you kick it will allow you to get the height you need. The more you scoop the ball, the higher it will go.

Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When You Lob or Chip a Soccer Ball

Keeping the following things in mind will help you improve your technique so you can perform a successful and accurate lob or chip:

  • Approach the ball at an angle. Approaching the ball at a slight angle allows you to add a slight backspin to the ball which will help with control.
  • Keep your toes downward during the kick. Avoid kicking the ball with your toe. Aim for the laces on your shoe if you are chipping or the upper inside of the foot if you are lobbing.
  • Lean slightly backwards when kicking the ball. This helps you add power and height to your lob or chip.

Learning how to complete a successful lob or chip can completely change the game of soccer. It can help you change the method of attack on the field by allowing you to quickly and easily move the ball from the right or left, or further down the field, and it can help improve your scoring and passing.

Learn more soccer skills: