Kicking the ball is one of the most crucial aspects of playing football. Players like Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Sunil Chhetri have set themselves way above from their competition. No doubt, they achieved excellence by practicing daily and developing a style. But the common denominator is that both of them know how to kick a football, and more often than not kicking the ball into the opposition’s net.
Anyone can kick a ball. Doesn’t seem like a big deal when you say it. It’s only after you have tried to do it that you realize that something is missing. For most people, the problem was that the ball did not end up where you intended it to go. Learning how to kick a football with power and accuracy properly is the key to accurate passes and shoots.
How to Kick a Football: Step By Step Guide
Run-up: How to kick a football
Place the ball on the ground and take a few steps back to have a suitable distance between you and the ball. Now take a few steps to either side of the ball depending on the foot you prefer to kick with.
If you prefer right, step to your left. If you prefer the left, step to the right. Ready yourself to run and take the shot.
As you run towards the ball, shorten your strides as you approach the ball. This will give you more power and control for your shot. The landing foot (the foot not used to kick the ball) should be placed next to the ball. If you put it behind the ball, the ball might lift higher than desired.
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The toes of the Landing foot should point in the direction that you want the ball to go. Pointing it wrong may reduce accuracy or may cause the kicking foot to collide with the Landing Foot.
Bend the knee as you plant the landing foot to have more control over the kick. Leaning your body affects the lift of the ball, leaning backward will make the ball rise higher, and leaning forward will result in a low-driven shot.
Bend your kicking leg backward after having placed the landing foot. Bending it too far back may cause a delay in the swing, and you will ultimately lose accuracy.
Contact: How to kick a football
This is the part that will define the type of kick that you wish to take. Timing the connection is of the utmost importance for a well-executed shot.
When the kicking leg is bent backward, point the foot of that leg towards the ground to keep it sturdy at the time of contact. Avoid having the kicking foot flimsy.
There are several ways to make the kicking foot contact with the ball, all of which serve different purposes. Mentioned below are some of the types.
To hook the ball hit it with the inside part of your foot. Then turn your foot slightly outside when your foot is close to the ball.
This will cause the ball to swing inside after taking the flight. Doing it wrong will cause you to miss kick the ball. A famous technique used by players like Beckham.
Slice is the opposite of Hook, in giving direction and also the technique that is applied. To Slice, the ball hit it with the outside of your foot. This will cause the ball to swing outwards after it takes flight.
Doing it wrong will cause the ball to go way out of target and in some hilarious cases, the foot might completely miss the ball. An Example of a perfect execution will be Roberto Carlos’s most famous goal against France.
To chip the ball, the very tip of your shoe should make contact to the underside of the ball, resulting in the ball taking a high flight but will not have much power hence will not cover much distance.
If executed correctly, the ball will be out of reach of another player for the most part of its flight. Doing it wrong may cause an awkward lob and misplacement.
If you know football, you have probably heard of Lionel Messi and have watched him perform this technique countless times.
To do a knuckleball, you have to hit the ball with the knuckle of your big toe. The hard knuckle will transfer a huge amount of momentum to the ball without any spin to it and hence a properly executed knuckleball will have little to no curve in its flight.
Ronaldo is known to be a lethal free-kick taker. The technique he uses the most is Knuckleball slyly slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Follow Through: How to kick a football
Follow-through means driving your foot even after the ball has left the foot. This will unload the Kicking Foot’s momentum to the ball. If you want an additional, momentum jump at the end of the kick. The foot should be pointed towards the ground. Logically, your foot should rise at the end of the swing.
Following through also helps you to keep your body in motion after you have kicked the ball. Do this by landing on your Kicking Foot a. This will stabilise you and give you the momentum to move ahead in the direction that you want to.
Keeping a move after kicking the ball is important to put further pressure on your opponent in incase your kick was intercepted or defended. Moving towards the opponent may cause the opponent to lose the ball or make a mistake and your team can get possession of the ball.
Other Techniques: How to kick a football
Volley is perhaps the most difficult of all to execute. Few opportunities are presented to a player to take a volley and a small percentage of that is results in a goal. A volley is kicking the ball mid-air.
You have to use the laces part of your foot to hit the ball which gives immense momentum to the ball. The catch is this since the ball and the foot both are in motion, it is tough to get the contact needed to shoot the ball where you want.
Practicing is the key to success. You may find it difficult at first in trying to keep all the instructions in mind as you kick the ball. But as you practice you will definitely see the result. Have a physical target in front of you to assist you in directing the ball and giving suitable momentum.
You may show a preference for a certain technique over the other. Mastering that technique is a good skill but try not to neglect others. You may not know which one you may have to use at a given time.
Learning how to pass the ball and receiving the ball from another player is complementary to shooting. If you work on your first touch, you can instantly set yourself up for a chance to kick the ball into the net.
And lastly, enjoy yourself. Live and breathe every moment on the field.