How To Increase The Strength And Speed Of Your Kick: How To Properly Shoot A Soccer Ball
With youth soccer leagues starting up just around the corner, there is no better way to get an edge on your competition then by perfecting your kicking technique. Through practice and repetition of the correct form, striking a ball will become second nature.
When learning to strike a ball, you have to keep in mind that you will generate the most speed and power, by using the front (or “laces”) of your cleat, pointing your shooting toe downwards, with your knee right over the ball, and your other foot planted aside the ball.For the best cleats, visit ThisIsAmericanSoccer, where you will be able to browse for the largest variety of soccer cleats for yourself.
A couple of common mistakes to avoid, is the use of the wrong surface of the foot. Many beginners first strike the ball with their toe, and although this technique is effective in creating a lot of power behind the ball, it does not allow for any accuracy. Another mistake often made beginners, is the use of the inside of the foot. And, although the inside of the foot allows for increased accuracy, by using this shooting surface, you sacrifice a lot of power.
The second part to correctly striking a ball, is to perfect your approach. You need around 3-4 steps before actually shooting to generate force behind the ball. When you approach the ball, it should be at speed and slightly from the side (if preparing to shoot with your right foot, come from the left, and if preparing to shoot with your left foot, come from the right) so that your approach is curved, and you can gather torque.
The third part to shooting a ball is learning to strike the ball in the middle. As you continue to play, you will learn that where you strike the ball will determine the flight of the ball. For instance, when passing, you need to hit the ball nearer to the top, so that it will stay on the ground. Likewise, by striking the ball in the middle, it will assure that the flight of the ball will be straight, not lifting too high off the ground, and therefore maintaining it’s speed and power.
The last part to correctly shooting a ball is learning where in the goal you should aim. Generally speaking, the best places to strike the ball, are the corners. When shooting against a smaller goalkeeper, aiming for the top corners is advisable, but for the most part, it is hardest for the goalkeeper to reach balls shot hard, and low, to the corners.
In review, when practicing your technique, remember to:
- use the top of your foot (“laces”), while keeping your toe pointed down
- approach the ball with speed, and from an angle
- aim for the middle of the ball
- shoot the ball in the corners of the goal
Keep these points in mind when practicing (it is helpful to practice your technique by kicking the ball against a wall, so that you can increase your number of repetitions), and you will be well on your way to perfecting your shot.