When you first start to play soccer it is essential that you master the art of how to kick a soccer ball without hurting your foot technique.
Many players are naturally gifted at kicking the ball with one foot in particular but struggle to kick the ball properly with their ‘wrong’ foot. The best soccer players in the world are masters at kicking the ball with both of their feet and being able to strike it firmly without hurting themselves.
Technique for Kicking a Soccer Ball
There is a clear technique for striking the ball effectively. Start by approaching the ball at a 45 degree angle, plant your non-kicking foot at the side of the ball. It should be either open or pointing at the target.
At the start of the swing with your kicking foot you should try and point with your opposite hand at the target and then bring your kicking foot to strike through the ball and in doing so swing your arm for balance and power.
Bring your foot through the ball making contact with the laces area of your soccer shoe. This part of your foot is used to strike the ball over long distances.
To improve accuracy for ‘safer’ passing over short distances you should use the instep of your foot. Practicing this technique will allow you to pass the ball with very high accuracy but with less power than when striking with the laces.
When they first start playing soccer many people kick the ball with their toes. They often don’t feel that this is wrong because they might be playing with a soft or smaller ball that doesn’t hurt when you kick it. However, as soon as they kick a full size ball with this technique of using their toes they run the risk of injury and hurting themselves.
The best way to find power in your ball striking is to practice the correct technique religiously. Ask any of the great players and many of them will tell you they spent hour upon hour upon hour practicing kicking a ball in this way, getting their technique absolutely right.
Even current top professional soccer players spend hours either before or after their training session at their club practicing striking the ball with both feet to improve their technique. The right technique is the best way of ensuring you don’t hurt yourself.
The Low Drive
Watch the F2 Freestylers with German International Bastian Schweinsteiger demonstrate the technique involved in delivering a low drive. This means striking the ball accurately and firmly low across long distances. They give a great lesson here in how to deliver really excellent strikes:
The great news is that by practicing the technique for long range passing at pace you automatically improve your technique and ability to strike the ball with the side of your foot over short distances too!
In addition to an excellent technique another key factor is the strength you have to call on in your quad muscles (thighs). Again, many problems soccer players work relentlessly in the gym building up their muscles to give them extra power when striking the ball.
What not to Do!
There are of course occasions when even the best get it wrong! Watch this video for examples of how NOT to kick the soccer ball:
Xabi Alonso - The Pass Master In Action
There are numerous examples of great players to learn good technique from. Watch the passing of former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso who is able to hit the ball accurately and firmly across long distances. He is a master at receiving the ball from his defenders in spaces on the field that attract little or no pressure from his opponents because he is so far from goal.
Alonso has great vision and technique for finding long range passes and set up numerous goal scoring opportunities throughout his career in this way:
There really is a direct correlation between the amount of hours this technique is practiced and your ability to kick the soccer ball accurately without hurting your foot.
Try your best to practice as much as possible to master the technique.
Have Your Say
Let us know what you think in the comments below...
- What technique do you use to kick a soccer ball?
- Have you ever hurt your foot kicking a soccer ball?
- Who do you think strikes the ball the cleanest in world soccer?