Volleying a soccer ball is not all about flare. In fact, most volley attempts are made because they are the best options in game situations. That is precisely why every soccer player should learn to volley like a pro.
Below are a few simple tips to improve your volleying technique, which will make you a better all-around soccer player.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
This may seem like a simple tip, but so many soccer players forgot to keep their eyes locked on the ball when they are attempting a volley. They think too much about the rest of their finishing technique rather than going through each step of the process. The net is not going to move and your technique will be natural in time, so never forget to keep your eye on the ball.
Timing is Essential
No matter if it is a clearance, a pass or a shot, you have to get the timing right or the ball can go anywhere. You obviously have to have good technique, but if you aren’t consistent with your timing, the rest of what you do on the volley won’t matter.
The easiest way to develop your timing on the volley is to practice each type of volley. If you want to work on volleys in the box, then either have someone kick or throw the ball in the air to you. If you want to work on defensive clearances, then it would be a good idea to have some type of pressure put on you by a teammate.
If you don’t get your footing right when you are about to make a volley attempt, you have little to no chance of having the ball go where you want it to go. Once you have consistent footing on your volleys, then you will be able to focus on putting the ball exactly where you want it to go. It's a good idea to work on using both feet when practicing.
The key to kicking an accurate volley is getting your body square to the ball. No matter what body movements you do during your volley, you have to start out by getting yourself in a perfect line with the ball.
Once the ball is coming down in front of you, make sure that your plant foot is facing toward where you want the ball to go. Allow your plant foot to direct the swivel of your body.
Finally, when you are about to strike the ball, make sure that your shooting/passing foot is straight. When your foot is straight and the ball hits your laces, you will get better accuracy and power.
Strike the Middle of the Ball
There aren’t too many times when hitting the top or lower half of the ball is the smart choice, so you should always focus on hitting it in the middle. Kicking the ball too high will slow it down and make it dive into the ground, while hitting it to low will force the ball high into the air.
Getting good contact with the middle of the ball is not only great for accuracy, it also allows you to get plenty of power behind your volleys. Sometimes you simply can’t help but hit the top or lower half of the ball, but practice getting as close to the middle as possible.
Perfect Your Technique
One of the worst things soccer players can do when learning how to volley is allow themselves to be frustrated when the ball doesn’t go exactly where they want it to go. Composure is just as important on the practice field as it is in games.
The fact is that volleys are not easy no matter how skilled a soccer player is, so it is more important to have a consistent technique than to try to get perfect placement every time. If you work on your technique, your accuracy will get better over time.
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