How to Kick a Soccer Ball

How to Kick a Soccer Ball

Published date: May 23, 2019

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Like any sport, soccer has techniques that are crucial to the core skills necessary to succeed. Of all of the techniques and skills necessary for this game, the most important has to be the kick, no matter your level in soccer.

So in order to do this, you want to have the fundamental basics to be able to execute a simple kick, which requires practice and a little knowledge. If you can give your game those two things, you’ll see that you will quickly find yourself being a very productive member of your soccer team.

That’s why we’re going to look at everything you need to know about how to kick a soccer ball and how to kick it well in this guide. We’re not only going to break down factors like touch and the type of kick you can use but also how to execute a flawless action so that you can get on the field and be one of the most skilled soccer players like you dream of.

First & Foremost – Touch Is Key

Maybe the most essential part of a kick is the first touch. The first touch is basically the moment a player’s foot comes in contact with the ball for the very first time. This is important because the quality of that touch has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the kick. When this occurs, considerations are where the ball touches the foot first and how it comes into contact with the soccer player’s foot during the action of the kick.

This should occur when the ball is about one step away, and there are multiple places where that first touch can occur regarding the player’s foot. It can happen inside, on the shoelaces, or the outside of the foot, and this is really dependent on the type of kick you’re looking to execute.

Of the many different types of kicks we will discuss in the next section, the two main ones you should have on your first list first to master are the standard and straight kick. With a standard kick, you’re looking to have the first touch hit inside of your foot at a slight angle (sometimes also called a basic side foot kick). The straight kick will make contact with laces as you will be kicking with a straight foot.

Breakdown of Kicks

Though the standard and straight kick are the most important to nail, there are many other types of kicks that one can utilize in soccer. By adding some or all of these types of kicks into your toolkit, you’ll be elevating your game and ensuring that you are able to be the go-to player on the field when it comes to making shot on goal attempts.

Here are some additional kicks that we highly suggest you look into adding to your repertoire:

  • Volley Kick: The volley kick is one that utilizes the first touch in midair. This can be hard to defend against and often has great power as you’re putting all your weight behind the ball.
  • Half Volley Kick: Often, the ball will be bouncing on the ground towards you, and if you can kick the ball while it’s in the air, this is called a half volley. This is great for passing as well as getting the ball up into the air for a more advanced kick. 
  • Bicycle Kick: Bicycle kicks are a very impressive tool to have. This kick has you riding a bike in the air, which means you’re pumping your legs and having that first touch with the ball while you’re in midair. This is a trickier and more advanced maneuver and will require you to be able to learn how to land correctly so you don’t hurt yourself.
  • Knuckle: If you can maneuver yourself to having your first touch of the ball being where the stem is, you will be striking the very center of the ball and not completely following through. This is called knuckling the ball, and many greats like Ronaldo actually do this very well.

Tips on How to Kick a Soccer Ball with Accuracy

Now that you have an idea of a couple of the kicks you should master and some more advanced ones that you can add to your repertoire, it’s time to look at the process of kicking the soccer ball itself. It’s key to mastering the kick and refining it to fit your playing style to move across the field more effectively.

So here are some tips on kicking a soccer ball that we think will help you do just that!

Take A Look Around

To ensure you are executing an accurate kick or pass, you need to know your surroundings. That means you need to understand where the opposing team, your own team, and the goal are at all times. So the first thing you need to do before you even connect with that first touch is take a good look around and note where everybody is.

Focus Is Key

Once you’ve done that, you can set your course to connect with the ball and concentrate on executing an accurate touch at the proper position to have maximum power and accuracy.

This is also where strategy comes in because you need to figure out where you want to touch the ball. If you’re looking to pop the ball into the air and maybe execute something like a bicycle kick to finalize your goal, then you’re going to need to be able to touch the ball in the right place and pop it up.

Proper Placement of Foot

You have to worry about both the foot that is executing the kick and your placement foot. Where it lies on the field in relativity to your body and the ground is crucial. You want to make sure that your placement foot is placed vertically to your shooting foot. But you also need to make sure that it is a comfortable distance away from the ball on a horizontal plane.

Then you want to take that foot and place it pointing where you intend the ball to head once you have kicked it. Once you’ve done that, all that is left is to kick the ball and make sure that that placement foot winds up in the proper place to give you enough power to push off of it.

Arms Play A Roll Too

Though most of the power behind a powerful shot comes from the motion of your legs, your arms can play a vital role. In fact, these appendages are crucial to ensuring you remain balanced while kicking the ball. You want to make sure that these arms are raised when you place your foot and then move back and swing when you actually have your first touch with the ball. This will offer a more powerful shot and one that allows you to recover your balance quickly and get back out on the field after the ball.

Cock That Leg

One of the most vital attributes a soccer player can have is flexibility. This is key when it comes to kicking the ball, as you’re going to want to cock your leg into a V-shape as far back as possible. This will improve the maximum power afforded to you for the actual kick itself. By being able to cock your leg back into as narrow a V-shape as possible, you’re going to increase your force, which will give the ball a lot of torque.

Keep Your Body Straight

If you’re looking to execute an accurate kick, you’ll want to keep your posture right. This means your body needs to stay straight and not lean. On top of that, if your body goes askew, the foot placement you tried so hard to execute correctly, in the beginning, will be shot, creating an inaccurate kick.

Follow Through

The last thing to remember is that instead of stopping when you feel the touch of the ball on your foot, you need to go all the way through it like you’re driving your entire foot through the ball. You have to let the power of the shot radiate all the way through your leg to its completion. This will help with accuracy and power and ensure that you are delivering the best kick possible to achieve your goal.

Final Thought

So as you can see, the most crucial thing to executing a stellar game on the field is mastering that kick. Whether you’re playing for fun with a group of friends or are in a club playing a more professional game, having an accurate and powerful kick will help you and your team be successful.

We hope that our quick look at how to kick a soccer ball has helped you with some tips and ideas on how to improve your game. You’re looking for an accurate and powerful shot that can drive the ball down the field and into that goal. The information above should help you with that.

So what are you waiting for? Get kicking!