Part 1- Technique
“Everything Is Practice” – Pele
Tip 1- Before Striking The Ball…
The technique which you use before you actually strike the ball is almost as important as the one used when your foot actually makes contact with it.
If you don’t believe me, then the next time you watch a soccer match, take note of how many players either misdirect their shots, or cannot generate the necessary power, simply because their posture and approach were wrong before making contact with the ball.
In order to ensure your approach is as refined as possible, practice the following drill on a regular basis, making a specific effort to ensure that every step of the process is followed each time you are aiming to kick the ball with a certain level of power.
1. Firstly, place the ball in a straight line to the object you are aiming to kick it at. This could be a goal (you’ll want a net or another player to be standing there to save you from retrieving the ball yourself after every shot.)
2. Stand directly behind the ball so that you are facing your target.
3. Take 3-4 large steps backwards – if you are primarily left-footed then take a step to your right. If you are predominantly right-footed then take a step to your left.
5. At the moment that your non-kicking foot makes contact with the ground, your kicking leg should be bent at the knee at such a point that your heel almost comes into contact your behind.
6. At this point, ‘tense’ your ankle and point down your foot so that it is in a straight line with your shin, and begin to lean over the ball with your shoulders.
7. Begin to extend your arms outwards. This will serve the double purpose of aiding your balance, while helping to propel the weight of your upper body over the ball, thus ensuring a more powerful shot.
You should practice these steps on a regular basis. As with most things in life, preparation is key. The more you practice the preparation of your shots (posture and technique), the quicker you will begin to see real results when you do make contact with the ball.