How to Set a Pick in Soccer

Many sports fans and athletes are familiar with setting a pick in basketball. The point is to block a would-be defender to give the offensive player a better chance to get to the basket. You can set a pick for the same reason in soccer. If done correctly, a pick can free up an offensive player to take a shot on net or to better place a ball for an offensive teammate. Here is how to set a pick in soccer.

The best times to run this play are on stoppages followed by either a free kick or a corner kick. You can attempt to run this play during normal game play, but setting it up with a teammate is more difficult.

Stand about six to seven paces away from the teammate for whom you will be setting the pick. You should stand in the general direction of where he will be headed so that you interfere with the man who is covering him.

Begin running toward where you want to set the pick as the teammate delivering the free or corner kick approaches the ball. The teammate you're setting a pick for should begin his movement at the same time.

Slightly extend your arms with your hands facing behind you. Your arms should be diagonal with your hands no higher than your thigh. This makes it look like you're not trying to “box out” the defender when, in reality, you are.

Keep your head up with your eyes on the ball at all times. Once you look back toward a defender, it will become obvious to the official that you are playing the man and not that ball and thus you will risk turning the ball over to the opposing team.

Place your arms down to your side as soon as you make contact with any defender. This adds to the act that any contact made was merely coincidental.


Make sure the teammate for whom you're setting a pick runs in front of you. Otherwise, you will not interfere with the man covering him.

Practice this numerous times. You must get the timing right with the teammates involved. It takes time to perfect.