Learning how to kick a soccer ball simply by watching other players do it can be pretty tough. The process happens in a flash and it can be difficult to master the technique without knowing exactly what happens during the kick.
As is the case with learning any of the basic skills in soccer, the easiest way to learn how to kick a soccer ball is to learn the techniques step by step. Once you have gotten through all of the steps, you will be able to pass and shoot without even having to think about it.
Below you will find simple steps that you can take that will help you kick a soccer ball the right way.
The Plant Foot
If you are to learn just one thing from this how-to today, it should be that your plant foot does more for your kicks than anything else. It has a direct impact on your balance, your accuracy, and the amount of power you can put behind the ball. If you don’t know how to use your plant foot, then you will have a very hard time getting the ball to go where you need it to go.
The majority of the time, your will want to have your plant foot even with the ball to its side. If you are too far behind the ball, you will get under it and your passes and shots will go high. If you go too far in front of the ball, you will have an extremely hard time getting it to do what you need it to do, usually kicking it straight into the ground. What’s great about knowing where to put your plant foot is that you can adjust it based on the results that you are getting.
Your plant foot also impacts the direction that your kicks will go. If you want to increase your accuracy right away, aim your plant foot exactly where you want the ball to go. Your foot should always be level with the ball, but you can point it in different directions.
Regardless of the type of kick you are taking, you simply have to lock your ankle to get better accuracy and power. Before you start attempting passes or shots, be sure that you work on bringing your foot forward with your ankle locked.
To kick a ground pass, always turn your foot so you make contact with the ball with your inseam. For short ground passes, follow through the ball while keeping your foot close to the ground.
To kick a lobbed pass, you will want to pull your body back a bit when you are taking the kick. You don’t necessary have to aim low on the ball, but you will want to hit the ball with the inside of your foot and follow through so your kicking leg ends up a few feet in the air.
Finishing is an important skill to work on no matter what position you play. Shooting is similar to passing, but the way you kick is usually a bit different. Of course, if you have an empty goal in front of you, there is nothing wrong with passing it into the net.
The main difference between passing and shooting is how your foot makes contact with the ball. When shooting you want to use the top part of your foot so your laces hit the ball. The absolute perfect spot to hit the ball is right in the middle of the laces. This gives you the best accuracy and power.
You will want to aim for the middle of the ball regardless of the shot. The way that you get it to go up or down depends on your body positioning during and after the shot. Lean back if you want it to go higher, and lean a bit forward to make it go level with the ground or on the ground.
As with passes, your follow through has a huge impact on what happens when you kick the ball. Keep your foot point towards the ground all the way through your motion, and basically jump as you are kicking. Your plant foot will help you to lift off as you are kicking, so don’t think too much about the jumping part. The more power you put into your follow through, the more power you will get behind the ball.
As always, aim your plat foot where you want the ball to go. Once you have that down, you will see that your shots will get more and more accurate. This is also the case for shooting penalties, so you are actually learning multiple soccer skills at once!