|Four to six-year-olds won't get a lot of power into their shots no matter what you
do and I suggest these coaching notes should be used with
players aged from seven years up.
More effort doesn't equal more power
your players try to kick the ball harder by going at it more violently,
they won't kick it any harder, they'll just get frustrated as their
accuracy drops off and the power in their shot stays
the same or becomes weaker.
is because too much effort tends to make the kicking leg go stiff and
the stiffer their leg, the less power is transmitted from foot to ball.
Accuracy drops off because too violent execution of the instep drive usually results in a deterioration in technique.
that sense, the instep drive is a bit like a golf swing. The way to get
distance and accuracy is to use the right technique in a smooth and
When I'm working on increasing power with my players this is what I look for:
the last stride before the ball is struck, the player should hop on to
the non-kicking leg. This gives the kicking leg extra flex and springloads the shot.
on to the non-kicking foot in the final stride also results in the
kicking foot coming down from a greater height - a high backlift is
essential for maximum power.
- The ankle of the kicking foot must be locked. The easiest way to do this is to scrunch the toes up real hard.
- The kicking leg should whip through the shot in a smooth and controlled manner.
How to use imaginary glass and a video camera!
A good follow-through is essential. I tell my players to imagine that
there is a big pane of glass about a foot in front of the ball and
their kicking leg should break the glass after they have taken the shot.
to players and demonstrating how to increase the power in their shot is
only part of the answer. Taking video of them in action on the training
pitch is a very useful way of showing them the flaws in their
use a still camera that also takes video and I play it back to my players
on a laptop. Seeing any flaws in the way they kick the ball for
themselves really does help them to improve quickly.