Kicking the Soccer Ball.
You can be a tall ,short, slow , fast or overweight player, but all these characteristics can be absorbed if you can accurately kick a soccer ball. But if you cannot kick the ball where you want to with a high degree of accuracy, then soccer is not the game for you.
The art of kicking a soccer ball is the essence of Soccer. A soccer player who has a poor kicking style is like a musician that is tone deaf or a painter that is color blind.. A speedy player is useless if he cannot kick the ball accurately, as the ball will always travel faster than the player. As all good coaches instruct, “let the ball do the running.” But How?
The first important pre-requisite of kicking is accuracy. Accuracy can only be developed through long, hard training sessions that continually concentrate on the motion of kicking. Like they say, “practice makes perfect.” The speed of the ball can be controlled by your foot movement and the speed of your run up to the ball. Also the size of your leg swing and the quality of the ball play a major role in the distance the ball will travel.
The anatomy of the foot allows the ball to be kicked in several different ways producing a variety of results. The first technique we are going to investigate is the “Instep” or kicking with the inside of the foot.
Inside of the Foot-Instep.
This is the most used technique and can be executed with or without a run up. The majority of passes during a soccer match are the result of the instep pass. The large surface area of the instep virtually guarantees a reasonable level of accuracy. The instep region stretches from the ankle bone to the base of the big toe. Due to the large surface area, alot of power cannot be generated using this technique and this technique is primarily used for passing at short to medium ranges.
Just like in golf, the swing of the leg is important. The nature of the instep does not allow greater power or distance to be created with a longer run up. When passing, place the non-kicking foot to the side of the ball allowing a free, almost rhythmic swing of the kicking leg. As you pass the ball, your kicking leg will be turned outward from the hip, contacting the ball at 90 degrees, with the sole parallel to the ground. Also the opposite knee is slightly bent when going through the motion.
The back swing of the kicking leg should not be too big or exaggerated, while the body leans slightly forward and the eyes are kept always on the ball. At the point of impact, the knee and the ankle joints are straightened to add power. The final motion should be positive and forceful but should be more like a push rather than a hit.