to kick a football (soccer) ball correctly
Women’s National Staff Coach
how to stop youth soccer players
kicking the ball with their toe
how to kick a soccer ball
I am often asked for advice on how to strike
a ball properly, especially to hit the ball over a long distance, or to
shoot it really hard.
Here is a progression that I like to do with practically any aged player.
I have recently used variations of this with a group of U-10 players as
well as with the U-16 National Team. Being able to drive a ball over
distance, so that the ball reaches its destination with pace and accuracy
is a skill that is necessary to compete at the higher levels. There is
nothing like seeing a ball “crashing” in to the back of the net, or a pass
being made to a wide open player that is waiting 50 – 60 yards away from
the play. So, listed below is a progression to follow to teach you the
fundamentals of this skill. Emphasis is placed on getting the proper
“surface” of your foot involved in the process… the “laces”. Once a player
establishes the proper “feel” for the ball with this part of his or her
foot, then the rest is just a matter of practice and developing strength
and timing. This comes from hours of work, alone with the ball.
Start way back with the basics....
Take off your shoe and sock. Sit on the floor, with both feet on the
floor... knees inside your arms...start by kicking the ball out of your
hands (like a punt).
But, just do it lightly so
that the ball only goes up about 2 feet or so.
Make sure that your toe is pointed and that
you keep your ankle "locked". Strike the ball with the "laces" part of the
foot. If your ball goes up without any spin...or with a little "top"
spin... then you are doing it correctly. If the ball comes back towards
your face...then try again. Keep doing this over and over...it will
develop a good feel for what it is like to hit the ball with your laces.
After you have managed that...try hitting the ball twice with the foot.
But, make sure that there is still a proper spin...ankle locked...toe
When you get good control it is time to stand up.
Now, do the same thing… kick
the ball out of your hands (like a punt) but have the ball only go up in
the air about 6-7 feet high. Look for the ball going up with no spin
again. Keep your foot in that good position. Your knee needs to be
slightly bent as well. Kick the ball straight up in the air. Again, you
are just trying to get a good feel for the ball. The ball's spin tells you
if you are doing it correctly.
Then, try to do it with a bounce between each kick. But, still only have
the ball go up about 6-7 feet high. It is important that you do this with
control instead of power. This is almost like juggling, but let the ball
bounce each time. Then, can you do two touches...(each one going up
without backspin) between each bounce?
Now...progress where you are letting the ball bounce on the ground, then
kick it to a friend or against some wall. Still with bare feet! Make sure
that you strike the ball when it is on the way down. Hit it with your
"laces". Toe pointed, ankle locked. Now, the ball should have "top
spin"...and should not go higher than your head. Keep working on this for
MANY times. See if you can now work on accuracy and some power. Again, you
should be getting a real feel for the ball with your laces.
After you do this...it is time to put your shoes back on and try from the
ground again. See if there is any improvement... there should be. You
should have a real feel for the ball by now!
One warning...this takes time!!! Some players that I have worked with on
this need a whole season to work things out. Practice correctly!!! It is
more important to "practice perfectly" than to kill yourself working
frantically and too hard. Take your time.
My last suggestion is to watch high level games. Watch how the real good
players strike the ball. Watch them, then try to copy them!
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