Monday, June 10, 2013

Kicking a soccer ball

Drop Kicking

Kicking a soccer ball
Okay, this is probably not a skill you are going to have to spend a great deal of time learning to master. Chances are that at some point in your misspent youth you managed to drop- kick a ball off of your front porch onto the roof of your house (or through the neighbor’s back window) and therefore have already had some experience. If you have not, this skill is also a relatively easy one to master; however, if you should ever find yourself in the position of guarding the goal it is going to be vital that you know how to properly place your drop kick to ensure that it is in prime position for your team to pick it up and carry it back down the field.

The single most important thing you need to know about drop kicking is that you need to ensure that the ball connects with the top of your foot, near the toes but not on top of the toes. That will enable it to have the strongest forward momentum while at the same time attaining some height. Precisely how much height is directly relevant to where the ball is when it meets your foot; kicking the ball closer to the ground will result in more forward momentum but not as much height, while kicking the ball nearer to the waist will give you plenty of height but not a great deal of momentum. The trick is to learn to place your kicks, so you are going to want to give this a try at several angles to determine precisely how much distance you can get from each connecting position.

That said, as a general rule you are going to want to make your drop kick at an approximate 45 degree angle from the ground, approximately level with your knee. That allows you to get a fairly decent forward thrust on the ball while at the same time controlling its height and trajectory. If the two paragraphs you just read make you feel as though you are reading Greek don’t worry; once you actually start putting some of these basic skills into practice it will all make perfect sense. 

The Outside Kick

Kicking a soccer ball
All right, obviously you can’t learn all that you need to know about playing soccer here; we would be here all day! So we’ll make this your last lesson in elementary soccer maneuvers. Sometimes you will need to make a pass or change direction and there will be no easy way to do so using the instep of your foot; you will have to leave the ball exposed and vulnerable this way, opening the door for the other team to come in and take control. Since the name of the game in soccer is to keep control of your ball at all costs this is obviously something you want to avoid; therefore, what you are going to want to do is what is known as a cross-over move.

This move is precisely what it sounds like. What you are going to do is stop your forward momentum, bring the foot on the side of the direction that you want the ball to go across your other foot and give the ball a tap with the outside of your foot. Now, instead of using your instep to push the ball forward you are using the exterior portion of your foot to push the ball sideways, and since your leg will be directly in front of it the ball will be protected from your competition. Again, the major risk in this move is losing your balance and falling (in a most undignified manner) on the field at your opponents’ feet and getting a cleat to the nose for your trouble, so it would be a very good idea to be sure that you have perfected this move before you take it out onto the field. 

The Heel Kick

Kicking a soccer ball
Of course, all of this is fine if you happen to be passing to someone who is ahead of you or directly even with you, but what do you do when you need to pass behind you? This situation will happen quite frequently on the field, particularly if you happen to be charging into a solid wall of opposition with your teammates flanking out behind you. Passing in this situation is considerably more difficult than its more straightforward counterpart; however, it can be done.

To pass a ball backwards, simply step over the ball and kick it using the heel of your foot to drop it back behind you. This is going to be a move that you are going to need to practice a great deal, because keeping your balance while performing the short stop and reverse kick that you are going to need is very difficult. If you are not careful you will wind up sitting crosslegged in the middle of the field with absolutely no idea how you got there. 

Prior to making your kick be sure that all of your weight has been shifted and balanced onto your other foot, which should be positioned in front of its side of the ball in order to help you maintain control and protect the ball from your opposition; it may help to practice sprinting down the field (or across your lawn) and then making a sudden stop and performing a reverse kick. Once you get the hang of it, performing this move at high velocities will be a piece of cake. 

These three soccer kicks are just a few I got from this ebook. I was lost without it. It's cheap and easy to keep with you like I did on my Ipad for quick reference. Click here to download it now.

--> Next: Soccer Dribbling Drills


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