How To Kick A Soccer Ball- Full Instep.
When kicking the soccer ball using the full instep method, the area of the foot used is the front or upper part of the foot between the base of the toes and the curvature of the ankle. This area or zone is found where your bootlaces are. Kicks with the full instep are the most effective, giving the kicker the most distance and the most power. The most common usage for this kick is a defensive clearance or a shot at goal.
This kick generates the most power and distance because the run up, follow through and the swing of the foot are all in the one direction. All the forces produced by the kicker are in the same direction and help compound the forces into one big kick. The ball must be kicked in the middle to avoid the ball swinging or swerving. Whilst this kicking style creates the most power, it is quite difficult to master because the kicker is working with a small surface area of the foot and needs to kick the ball dead centre to avoid deviation.
The bio mechanics of this kick involves the foot being pushed strongly downwards with the toes coming close to the ground. For young children this technique can be daunting because they fear kicking the ground and hurting themselves. This technique should be taught after the easier techniques are mastered first.
A clear disadvantage of this kick is that it can be used only when the ball is travelling towards you. It is extremely difficult to kick with the full Instep a ball that is coming towards you from the side. However, the distance that can be gained from the full Instep and the power produced, makes this kick one of the most important tools any soccer player can have.
Strangely enough, the technique of this kick is the simplest of them all. The run up starts 6-7 metres behind the ball in direct line with it and with our target. The non-kicking foot is positioned 10 -15cm to the side of the ball and in that instance the kicking foot goes into a back swing, rather forcefully. The knee is bent and the leg, on impact, snaps suddenly upwards while the foot itself is in a gentle backward arch.
Full Instep Exercises.
Warning: To avoid injuries, it is advisable to start coaching this kick with a ball suspended from a string as the kicking foot can be “caught” in the ground.
- Kick a ball suspended or held on a string repeatedly with the full Instep. This will give the players the confidence using the Instep without the fear of them hitting the ground.
- Another way to practice this kick is to drop a ball and kick it after the first bounce.
- Get a partner or a team mate to throw the ball from about 5 metres away and you practice kicking the ball using this motion. Firstly in a stationary position, then after a short run up.
- While in a stationary position, drop the ball and hit it the moment it reaches the ground. This is usually called a drop kick, but its a great way to learn the Full Instep kick.
Movement of the Full Instep-Technique
- Approach the ball straight on and in the direction you intend to kick the ball. The last step before kicking is longer to allow time for a back swing and correct positioning of the ball. The arms are spread out for balancing the body.
- The toes are pushed firmly back.
- The foot straight down to form a flat, rigid kicking surface.
- Hit the ball dead centre with the knees over the ball to keep it low or behind to put it in the air.
- The joints are tight on impact.
- The foot follows the ball straight through and the knee straightens out.
Remember, various ball skills can be learned, improved and polished if the young player has some basic aptitude and plenty of ambition. Equally important, the coach or parents must be patient and offer plenty of encouragement.