Shooting – teaching the basics

Tip: before teaching the right way to shoot, teach your kids how to kick a football correctly.

shootingThere are many different ways to shoot the ball in football. You can shoot with the instep, with the inside of the foot, the outside, and yes, even the toe. You can drive the ball hard, make it curve in or out or chip it.

But the first thing you have to do is to teach your children the basics: ‘from the nose to the toes’:

Head down – eye on the ball.

Tell your children that they have look up to pick out their target and then look back to the football as they actually shoot. This is because it is virtually impossible to strike the ball correctly if you’re not looking at it.

Plant non-striking foot along side the ball.

If you plant your foot behind the ball your kicking foot is coming up as you strike. This will result in a chip shot. As your children progress you may well want to show them how to do this, but to start with we need to practice keeping shots low and straight.

Strike the middle of the ball.

If you kick the ball below the middle the ball will rise, if your child ‘tops’ it the ball will just roll along the ground.

Keep the knee of the kicking leg over the ball.

This technique determines the correct body position. Often, children will be standing too far behind the ball when they shoot. This results in too little power.

Approach the ball slightly from the side.

Coming straight at the ball results in ‘toe poking’. Younger children kick with their toes naturally, it seems easier and it’s often hard to get them out of the habit. You need to show them that they can hit the ball just as hard with their instep and their shots will be much more accurate. One way of doing this is to get them to shoot at a cone or pole set up 10 or 20 yards away. You should be able to demonstrate that is much easier to hit the target and knock it over using the instep.

Follow through.

Young children are often reluctant to kick through the ball. They tend to jerk back as they strike the ball and consequently do not get a lot of power on the shot.