SHOOTING: THE GREAT AMERICAN WEAKNESS


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There are 3 basic ways to kick in soccer, with many variations on each kick.  The 3 basic kicks are: The instep (commonly called the sweet spot or laces), the inside of the foot, and the outside of the foot.

Watch your children as they begin to play.  They feel more comfortable kicking with their TOE.  The ball seems to go much faster and it easier for them to do.  However, as they mature, the TOE KICK has one major drawback:  It is impossible to control where the ball goes.  As they get older they have to control their kicks.  As parents and coaches, you need to help them before the TOE KICK becomes a habit.

Teaching them to kick properly is the most important part of learning how to play and enjoy soccer.  But you must be patient and never be negative with them.  This robs them of their fun and energy for the game.  For the first few months, do these teachings gradually.

In time they will want to learn more.  Teach them that no matter how the ball is being kicked, the foot not kicking the ball is as important as the foot kicking the ball.

Basic Kicks

The foot that does kick the ball. The PLANT FOOT (the foot not doing the kicking) must be right alongside the ball when contact is made with the ball.  If the PLANT FOOT is in front of the ball, a bouncing shot results.  If the PLANT FOOT is too far behind the ball, a high lobbing shot results.

The Offensive Shot On Goal

The rules:  Head down, toes curled down, the ankle locked.  Strike the center of the ball with the instep with the plant foot next to the ball.  Follow through with the toe pointed down.

The instep?  It's the upper surface of the foot or the laces of the shoe.  Have your kids feel their instep.  Then have them curl their toes in their shoe as if they were using their toes to grab the grass.  The instep get as hard as a hammer.  Now have them put their plant foot next to the ball, and with the shooting foot strike the center of the ball with their instep, toe down,  eyes down, the knee of the kicking foot even with the ball and the weight of their body going through the ball after the kick.

Let's Review

Regardless of where they strike the ball, the ankle must be locked.  The head and toe must be kept down.  With the head down, the eyes will concentrate on striking the center of the ball.

It does not matter how hard you swing your leg if you only hit part of the ball.  Players must strike the center of the ball to drive it hard.

The plant foot must be next to the ball and pointed in the direction of the shot.


Last Updated: 09/23/2003