By FrozenPhyre Follow
This will give you a basic layout of how to strike a soccer ball so that it has power and accuracy.
Step 1: Before Striking the Ball.
Obviously, make sure you have proper shoes on (preferably soccer cleats) and be sure you’re kicking the ball at something like a wall or a goal so you dont have to run and get it everytime.
Place your ball where you want to strike it from. Stand behind the ball so that you are facing the target that you are aiming at. Now, take about 3 steps straight backwards. If you are right foot dominated, take one step to the left. If you are left foot dominated, take a step to the right.
Step 2: Before Striking the Ball
Now for the most important part. Once you are lined up behind the ball, take quick strides that are about the same size as the ones you took when walking backwards.
On your last stride, you want you non kicking foot to be “planted” right next to the ball. As soon as your non kicking foot hits the ground, your kicking leg should bend at the knee so that you heel almost touches your behind. Lock your ankle so that your foot is flat and forms a straight line with your shin.
I was searching google images and i found this awesome picture that explains everything I said in a few sentences :D.
Step 3: Striking the Ball.
Before doing this step, i would practice doing the 2nd step 5-6 times just so it comes out smoothly and you dont hurt yourself.
Carrying over from the 2nd step. once you have your leg back, you will (obviously) want to swing it through and kick the ball. As you are about to kick it, do NOT lean backwards. This is a common mistake that all people make. Leaning back will cause the ball to go high into the air, and probably over your target. With that in mind, try to swing your leg “through” the ball which means let your leg keep going forward even after you kick the ball. Be sure to keep your ankle locked. Aim to hit the center of the ball. After your foot makes contact with the ball, your momentum should bring your foot through the ball so that you land on your kicking foot.
This will take ALOT of practice, so don’t expect to get it right in the first 20 tries. Good luck and if I need to clarify please don’t hesitate to ask.
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When I was 16 I played a lot of soccer for our state championship high school team Elco high school of Pennsylvania. Was a multi state indoor champ and out door champ. Played for a premier travel team Nittany Quasars out of Penn State. I was a goalkeeper and I always had this really dumb issue I could never correct I’m 6’3-6’4 and at that time about 215-220lbs now I had no problem stopping shots and was great at penalty shots but my kryptonite was goal kicks and free kicks. I think it was mental now when I punted the ball wether drop kick or just a plain punt I could send the ball with ease 80+ yards and with the right ball we used a nice cushion miter I could send a drop kick into the other 18 off one bounce but my goal kicks went max 10 yards past half if I took a corner I could send it into the stands and it felt good off the foot but when I kicked down the field it never felt the same and never went as far and I trained with Canada’s 94 World Cup teams keeper Craig Forrest, the college keepers, Tony Meloa and Brad Friedel and evening they could not figure a way to help me Tony told me at 16 years old with my punt I should be able to send it into the other goal box on a 100yd field no problem and should easily go as far as his on a 120yd pitch anyway we all just declared it to be a mental block since I could send it 75 yards no problem if I was crossing the goal or a corner kick but for whatever it just looked terrible for a kid my size punting a ball into the other 18 off a drop kick on a 120yd field then see me kick a goal kick and only clear the half way mark by 10 yards it was embarrassing oh yeah and I could throw the ball full power further than my goal kicks so yeah picture that I always blamed my size 15.5 shoe to calm my nerves. So just had to toss that out there now I’m going to have nightmare flash backs of my poor goal kicks infront of the world at the Dallas International Youth Cup.
Heading the ball is one of the toughest skills to master in soccer, but it can also be one of the best ways to score goals and make great passes. Unlike learning how to volley, learning to head the ball should only take you a couple of practice sessions.
Below you will find out how to properly head the ball in soccer.
Always Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
One of the most common mistakes that soccer players make when attempting a header is taking their eyes off of the ball at the last second. Not only does this up your chances of missing the header, but it also increases the chances of you getting injured on the play.
As the ball is coming your way, focus on getting your body and head in good position by watching the ball in flight. This will allow you to make quick adjustments before you attempt to head the ball and will greatly increase your accuracy.
You’re probably going to close your eyes as the ball makes contact with your head, but just make sure that they are open long enough so you get proper contact.
Upper and Lower Body Movement
Sometimes players focus a bit too much on simply making contact with the ball and forget to use proper form. If you don’t use your legs and upper body to generate power, then your chances of completing a headed shot or pass go way down.
In most cases, our knees will need to bend at some point during your header, regardless of whether you leave your feet or not. Your upper body will help to move your head forward for a more accurate and powerful header, but your legs are most important because they help with your timing and getting your head aligned with the ball.
Make Contact with the Center of Your Forehead
If you want to head the ball accurately and with as much power as possible, you need the ball to hit directly in the center of your forehead. This will make it much easier to direct your header since you want to turn your head to direct the ball. IF it hits you anywhere but in the middle of your forehead, the ball could go in any direction.
Also keep in mind that you have the most protection in the middle of your forehead. You want to avoid concussions at all costs, so practice heading correctly and only when you’re completely comfortable with you should you attempt headers in games.
Sometimes it’s okay to allow the ball to deflect off of your head and into a teammate’s path, but you will usually want to move your head in the direction where you want the ball to go. For example, if you want to be a good passer when you’re heading the ball, then you will want to practice following through so the ball goes exactly where your teammate is going to be.
The follow through is obviously very important when you’re shooting, too. Headers are usually going to be a lot slower than shots, so you need to get a good follow through to try to beat the goalie.
Communicate with Your Teammates
Attempting a header is always going to be one of the most dangerous moves in soccer, but it becomes a lot less dangerous when you communicate with your teammates. If they know that you are going for the ball, then there is a much lower chance of someone running into your head while you are attempting a header.
There’s no need to tell your teammates that you are going for a header, but you should let them know that you are making a play on the ball. Over time, you should be able to develop chemistry with your teammates and everyone will instinctively know to back off.
Trapping the ball is an essential part of soccer, which means that every soccer player should learn to do it correctly. Most coaches preach possession since more possession usually means more wins, and trapping allows you to retain possession for your team.
Learning to trap the ball correctly will help many other parts of your game, including dribbling and passing. Just watch any of the best dribblers in the world and you will see that trapping is a huge reason why they are considered the best.
Types of Soccer Traps
It may seem like there hundreds of ways to trap a soccer ball, but in reality, there are only five that you need to know:
- Step Trap – Simply step on the ball to trap it.
- Inside Trap – Stop the ball with the side of your foot.
- Thigh Trap – Use your thigh to trap the ball when the ball is lower than your chest but too high for your foot.
- Chest Trap – Use your chest to cushion the ball down to your feet.
- Head Trap – Similar to the chest trap, but you use your head to knock the ball down to your feet.
Trapping a Ground Pass
When you are receiving a ground pass, you will want to use the inside trap so you can increase the chances of pushing the ball out in front of you. Ground passes are the easiest to trap in most situations, and they allow players to make multiple one-touch passes when they are moving the ball up the field.
Trapping an Aerial Pass
The type of soccer trap to use when receiving an aerial pass depends on the height and speed of the ball, which is why it is important to practice every type of trap. Your overall goal is to get the ball to your feet so you can control it, so use any (legal) part of your body to cushion the ball down when it is coming to you through the air.
Trapping a Bouncing Pass
Bouncing passes can be very tricky to trap, but sticking with the fundamentals of trapping makes it much easier. In most situations, it will be easiest to stop a bouncing pass with an inside trap since you have more control over where the ball will end up and there is a lower chance of it getting past you. Check out these 5 players who have mastered the art of Dribbling.
Keeping the Ball Close
It isn’t too hard to make contact with a pass that comes to you, but it can take some time to make it stick near you. Your overall goal when trapping is to make sure that you can do something with the ball as quickly as possible. Having to put too much focus on retaining possession can lead to miskicks and turnovers.
One of the easiest ways to get used to trapping the ball close to you is to pretend that you have a loop around you that is three feet in diameter. If you work on never allowing the ball to go outside of that loop when you are trapping the ball, then you will have a much higher chance of successfully completing the trap.
Trapping the Ball in Open Space
The most important thing to keep in mind when you trap the ball in space is to get your body facing towards the opponent’s goal as quickly as possible. Since you are not under pressure, you have more time to back up and get the ball to your feet, but you should try to trap it in one touch into open space.
Even though trapping the ball in open space is easier than when you have a defender close to you, it is vital that you trap the ball as quickly as possible. That way you get more time on the ball and you up your team’s chances of having a successful possession.
Trapping the Ball While Under Pressure
When there is pressure on you, you want your first touch to push the ball away from the defender. No matter what type of trap you use, aim the ball so that your body is between the ball and the defender, and so you have a higher chance of either dribbling around them or completing the next pass. Keep your composure with the ball at your feet and you will have a high chance of getting away from the defender.
Mastering the Trap
Trapping the ball is one of the most important skills in soccer, so it is something that every player should continue to work on no matter how experienced they are. A good idea is to train with smaller soccer balls to make the standard balls easier to trap. When you master the basic traps, you will find that you the game slows down and you will become a much more composed soccer player.
Soccer dribbling skills are a crucial for every player to possess no matter their position. You’ve seen this before on the soccer field: A player gets the ball and gracefully weaves in and out of three or four players before cutting the ball back one more time to bend the ball into the far corner and score a goal. The soccer ball tethered to their foot the entire time. Think Lionel Messi’s dribbling run against Getafe, which was very similar to Maradona’s run against England in the 1986 World Cup.
You don’t get soccer dribbling skills like that with luck. It takes talent, technique, and dedication. In other words, practice, practice, and more practice. It means spending time with the soccer ball on your own. It means being able to keep your head up slightly as you dribble the ball so you can see the field. It means being able to dribble at a slow pace and then explode past a defender with speed. It means dribbling in and out of a set of cones until you can do it in your sleep. It means touching the soccer ball with every step as you dribble.
Pep Guardiola explained his approach, ‘My first question is always, “Can this guy dribble?” I only want players who have that skill so that’s always what I look at. I want full backs and central defenders and midfielders and inside forwards and winger who can dribble. Because you can learn control and good passing…So, yeah, dribbling, that’s the key.”
Here’s a selection of some of the best soccer dribbling skills and moves in the game. Also, watch Ryan Giggs teach young Manchester United Academy players how to take players on and put defenders off balance.
First off though, the best dribblers of the ball, like Messi, touch the ball with every step they take, this way they can cut in any direction at anytime. That’s the key to becoming a great dribbler of the ball in soccer. It’s only when you’re able to dribble the ball with every step and cut the ball to either side should you look at trying some of the soccer moves below. And this also means being able to dribble comfortably with both feet.
Some of best dribblers in the world don’t even necessarily have moves or tricks, they just have such incredible control of the ball that they can cut the ball away from defenders when they try to take it.
So, once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of dribbling the soccer ball, and as long as you’re able to dribble at speed with the ball and keep it close to you, then you can proceed to the advanced set of soccer moves and tricks that are outlined below.
Sure, there’s no harm in working on soccer moves or tricks, as it only gets you more comfortable with the ball, but don’t replace tricks and moves with the ability to expertly dribble the ball with the inside and outside of both feet under pressure. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of dribbling, then try to pull off something like this Dimitri Payet run:
Barcelona’s trainer Lorenzo Buenaventura said this about Iniesta’s dribbling skills: “What happens is that Andrés brakes. That’s the key, the most important thing. People say: ‘Look how quick he is!’ No, no, that’s not the point. It’s not about speed, about how fast he goes; what it’s really about is how he stops and when, then, how he gets moving again.” Again, dribbling is all about change of pace.
Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Vocabulary
Take a look at this list of soccer moves and add them to your game if they’re not part of it already. Actually, don’t just add them to your package of skills and dribbling moves, perfect them! Some of these soccer dribbling techniques will help you not just beat defenders but score and setup goals.
|The Sweep||Cruyff Turn||Seal Dribble||Cristiano Ronaldo Spin|
|The Step Over||Nutmeg||Zidane 360||Zidane Heel Flick|
|Sombrero||The Iniesta||Ronaldinho Roll||Henry Change of Pace|
|The Scoop||Messi Body Feints||Ronaldo Double Step Over||Blanco Bunny Hop|
|The Nasri Move||Alla Del Piero||Cristiano Ronaldo Chop||Riquelme Spin|
|Scoop Turn||Stanley Matthews||Gareth Bale Speed||Daily Footwork|
|Ronaldinho Snake||Puskas Skill||The Stop & Go||Helicopter Turn|
|Maradona Spin||Messi Signature Move||Zidane Fake Shot||Ronaldinho Elastico|
|Berbatov Scoop Turn||Busquets Signature Move||Frenkie’s Signature Turn||Mahrez Chop Move|
These are all excellent soccer moves to beat a defender. Remember to go slow before doing the move and then burst away at speed afterwards. Change of pace is the key to beat any defender on the dribble no matter what soccer move or trick you use.
Soccer is often called “the beautiful game,” but before it can be played beautifully, you need to master the basic soccer skills. And it is important to know that beginners should learn the fundamentals of soccer before trying fancy tricks or moves that the pros do. If not they may end up frustrated and lose interest in the game.
The game is often used to teach young children teamwork, competition, and to build the fundamentals of a healthy active life. While this is a good start, the younger kids are when they learn how to play the game correctly, the better their foundation will be for a long soccer career.
But really you can learn the game of soccer at any age!
Below Are 4 Basic Soccer Skills and Fundamentals
**Plus 1 bonus concept that every player should learn.
Passing is our first fundamental.. well, because soccer is a team sport.
Accurate passing allows you to move the ball from one player to a teammate. This so important because you can move the ball around the field faster and with less effort than dribbling.
I once heard a coach say,
“You will never be able to dribble faster than the football can be passed.”
This very important to remember, plus dribbling is a skill for individuals, and soccer is a team sport.
To pass effectively, it is important that beginner and youth players learn where their teammates are by keeping their head up and looking around. For the player without the ball, it is important to communicate. Calling for the ball and letting your teammate know where you are is just as important as getting your head up.
There are many techniques for how to pass a soccer ball, but the most basic is to pass with the inside of the foot. This gives the player the most control and accuracy.
To pass with the inside of the foot, follow these steps:
- Use the inside of your foot
- Plant your non-kicking foot on the ground next to the ball
- Lock your ankle
- Follow all the way through when making contact with the ball
Dribbling is all about ball control and is also part of basic soccer skills. Passing and dribbling are the two ways a player can move the ball down the field. As I mentioned already dribbling the ball is a skill for individuals.
Typically you can dribble fastest when you have an open space in front of you. It is also used to get past other players and advance the ball.
To dribble new players should start with the inside of their foot and as their comfort and speed with the ball increase, the top of the foot may feel more comfortable. The objective is to keep the ball close to your body in order to make quick decisions whether to pass, change direction or shoot at the goal. As players become more experienced they can train to use more parts of their foot to dribble.
3. Trapping / Receiving the Ball
Receiving the ball or trapping the ball is a critical skill for soccer because if you can’t settle the ball and get it under control, you will lose it before you have an opportunity to do anything with the ball. Receiving the ball should be practiced in coordination with passing.
If the ball is on the ground
- A player will need to turn the ankle as if they are passing the ball.
- Then with the knee bent, cushion the ball so it stops in front of them
- Then they can either dribble or pass the ball next
It is critical that beginners and youth players master this skill before moving on to more controlling more challenging balls such as balls in the air.
4. Shooting The Ball
As the great Cruijff once said.
The game of football is won by scoring goals and if you never shoot you can’t score and you can win. Winning isn’t everything, but, well, it is kind of the point of the game.
As a soccer newbie, it is important to start with the most basic shooting technique. It’s not just about power you need to have control and accuracy as well.
Basic shooting technique in soccer
- First, as you approach the ball plant the support (non-kicking) foot next to the ball with your toes towards the goal.
- Make sure you have enough distance from the ball so you can strick the ball with your shooting foot.
- Keep your eyes on the ball
- Keep your ankle locked and your knee over the ball.
- Then strike the ball with your laces and in the middle of the ball.
Check out our video for How To Shoot a Soccer Ball as well.
5. Movement Off The Ball ** (Bonus Skill)
The last skill in our list is often considered a bit more advanced than other basic soccer skills, but it is also critical to understanding the game of soccer.
This is movement off the ball or movement when you don’t have the ball. I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “bumblebee soccer”. This typically happens with young kids in youth soccer. The kids swarm around the ball and wherever it goes, so do all the kids. This usually means there isn’t much passing or even dribbling. It is mostly just kicking at the ball. The sooner youth players can learn how to spread out and move the ball around the field, the more they will be able to contribute to the game.
How to move off the ball
When a player doesn’t have the ball they should move to open space. This gives the player with the ball an option to pass and to quickly get the ball somewhere safe from the opponent. Then when the other team swarms to the ball, the next pass should go to another player that ran to a different open space. This will keep the other team running in circles all game.
Like anything else; Practice makes perfect and these skills will help build a firm foundation.
To quote Cruijff again.
“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.”
It is important that you as a beginner or your child master the basic of soccer before trying to play like the pros. That will help ensure the ability to play the game simply.
A good coach can teach basic soccer skills, but you can also learn a great deal from peers and a good game of pickup soccer.
1. Cushion control – taking the ‘sting’ out of the ball by pulling back the controlling surface on impact. This has the effect of ‘cushioning’ or absorbing the pace of the ball so that it drops at the feet.
2. Wedge control – by making the controlling surface, say the sole or outside of the boot, more rigid, the ball is ‘wedged’ between it and the ground. This is used when a player wants to force the ball downwards or into space so they can move onto it.
- Move into position to intercept the ball early.
- Select the controlling surface early and place it in the ball’s path.
- Stay balanced using the arms.
- Watch the ball carefully to judge its direction and speed.
- Keep the head steady.
- Be relaxed.
What can you control it with? Anything!
REMEMBER: GOOD SERVICE IS VITAL TO PRACTISING BALL CONTROL!
Step it up
Only when players have confidence in their technique should you move onto increasing the difficulty by having them practice:
Players will now have to think about:
About Dave Clarke
Dave Clarke is the former head coach and editor of Soccer Coach Weekly.
As well as being a skilled journalist and editor, Dave has excellent coaching credentials, having coached U9s – U16s at grassroots level for over 20 years.
He holds a UEFA B license and is qualified in FA Youth Award modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Coerver Youth Diploma Module.
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“Before you do anything, decide where you’re going to hit the ball. Take your time – consider the positioning of the free-kick, the placement of the wall and where the goalkeeper is standing. Do you have any previous knowledge of the goalkeeper? This will help you make the right decision. Then your main aim should be to hit the target, no matter what.”
2 MEASURE OUT YOUR RUN-UP
“If the kick is a long way out, I stand no more than five metres from the ball. On the approach, I take three or four steps to gain speed and power for the shot. If the kick is closer in, I prefer to take one long step, planting my standing foot close to the ball. The closer this foot is to the ball, the more accurate your shot will be.”
3 GET IN THE ZONE
“Concentration and mental toughness are essential to striking the perfect free-kick. You have to be very focused to hit the target. Shut out everything that’s going on around you and just concentrate on what you have to do. You can train for this moment all you want, but if you’re not focused at the crucial time, you’ll make a mess of the basics.”
4 GIVE THE KEEPER THE SWERVE
“My aim is to make the ball swerve. I like to approach it with a straight run-up, striking the ball with the inside of my foot like a pass but with more power. Strike the centre of the ball, connecting with the bottom and driving up through it. This will cause it to dip viciously, confusing the keeper. This effect is called ‘knuckleball’.”
Vasco da Gama’s midfield maestro talks us through his top three net-busting free-kicks
July 22, 1998
River Plate 1 Vasco da Gama 1
Copa Libertadores semi-final
“The most special goal of my career was in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final against River Plate in Argentina. The free-kick was almost 35 metres from goal. I struck the ball as hard as I could, creating an amazing swerving effect. The goal ensured Vasco qualified for the final. Even to this day, the fans sing a song about that free-kick.”
November 5, 2003
Bayern Munich 1 Lyon 2
Champions League group stage
“Of the 100 goals I scored for Lyon, 44 came from free-kicks; the one I enjoyed the most was against Bayern Munich. At the time Oliver Kahn was the best goalkeeper in the world, but I put the ball in the top corner and he didn’t even come close to touching it – he was left hanging on the post. It was from a long way out, which made it even more pleasing.”
February 24, 2009
Lyon 1 Barcelona 1
Champions League round of 16
“We had a free-kick out wide on the left. Because of where the ball was placed, everyone thought I was going to cross the ball, but I thought I had a good chance of scoring from there. I aimed to hit the target and the ball found the top corner of the net, with Victor Valdes left grounded. He was so surprised he fell into the back of the net.”
For more football tips see:
Larsson: How to hit an unstoppable free kick
Taking corner kicks is a huge responsibility since they give your team excellent chances to score some goals. It’s a good idea to work on your basic passing skills first, but corners are different than other passes in soccer. This is why you need to develop a consistent routine that will make you a confident corner kick taker.
Even if you are not your team’s primary corner kicker, it is still a good idea to know how to take them to have a better understanding of how these plays should be executed.
Below are five things that every soccer player should know if they want to kick accurate corners.
Understand Your Team’s Set Plays
You can be the most accurate corner kicker in the world, but that won’t mean much if you don’t know what your teammates are doing when you take your corners. Hopefully your coach has designed at least a few corner kick routines for your team, and everyone is on the same page when you are preparing to take the kick.
The reason why it is so important to know what your teammates’ plans are is because you can visualize how the corner is going to play out. Your one huge advantage over the defense is that you know your team’s plans on these corners, so you need to know where you want to put the ball to give your team the best chances of scoring.
Read the Defense and the Goalkeeper
A corner kicker has to have the mentality of a great playmaker. There are only so many things a defense can do when they are facing a corner kick, but it is vital that you get a read on it before you attempt your kick. This also helps you understand how your team’s routine will play out so you can pick out the best target.
The two primary defensive tactics against corners are man-to-man marking and zonal marking. If it’s man-to-man, then you will run through your team’s routine normally and try to pick out the best target. If it is zonal marking, then you will need to find the hole in the zone.
Visualize What You Want the Ball to Do
Knowing your team’s set piece routines and reading the defense will allow you to visualize how you want the corner kick to play out. You also give yourself a slight advantage over the defense when you can visualize how your team is going to be moving around during the play.
The other reason why you want to try to visualize what’s going to happen on your corner kicks is because it takes some of the pressure off of you. When you are able to put your focus on what you need to do more than how you are going to do it, you will have a much higher chance of kicking an accurate corner.
Aim for the Lower-Half of the Ball
You will want to lift the majority of your corner kicks, so will pretty much always want to be aiming for the bottom part of the ball. The reason why this is important to keep in mind is because it allows you to focus on one part of the ball when you are preparing for your delivery.
While you want to kick the bottom-half of the ball during corner kicks, you don’t want to kick it too low. Since you are putting plenty of power (and usually whip) behind it, you want to hit just below the center of the ball to keep it from flying past the box. Make sure you practice hitting the sweet spot over and over again in training so it becomes second nature.
Many soccer players go through everything mentioned above perfectly, but they forget this extremely important last step. If you don’t consistently follow through when kicking your corners, the ball can go absolutely anywhere. The follow through is how you get the ball to go accurately where you need it to go, so always remember to swing your leg complete through the ball.
The easiest way to make sure that you follow through on your corner kicks is to never take your eyes off of the ball. Look at the spot on the lower-half of the ball like we talked about earlier, and then kick through it without looking away from that spot.