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How To Kick A Soccer Ball With Power And Perfect Accuracy

Learning how to kick a soccer ball with power is one of the most important skills you can learn as a soccer player. But if you are not a striker, or don’t often shoot, it is often overlooked.

I spent most of my life as a defender and always ignored the process of improving my ball-striking power.

Instead, I focused too much on tackling and passing. These are both important, but I was never able to hit the ball with any power when a goal-scoring opportunity outside the 18-yard box landed at my feet.

All players need to hit a soccer ball with power: whether it’s the striker attempting a shot at a goal, a defender clearing their lines, or making a long pass.

There are five key steps you need to take for a clean and fierce shot. Here are the steps to take to kick a soccer ball with power.

The Run-Up

The more deliberate your run-up is, the more powerful your shot will be.

If you don’t take a run-up, the ball will float through the air with little pace and will not challenge the goalkeeper.

To consider a decent run-up, go for three or four good strides that are long enough to gain a decent amount of speed. Any more than this and it’s going to be too much. It’s unlikely you’ll have the chance to take this much of a run-up in a match situation anyway.

Planting Foot

Make sure that your opposing foot is next to the soccer ball as you are about to strike it.

If you are kicking the ball with your right foot, your left foot needs to land on the left side of the ball, and vice versa for lefties.

You should also make sure the planting foot is facing the intended target, i.e. the goal or position of the long pass. You don’t want to face your foot away from the target, or the shot will go wide.

Backswing

Ever tried one of those punching bag games at the carnival? The aim is to punch the object as hard as possible so you can get a high score. When you attempt to punch the object, do you have your hand out in front of your body and straighten your arm like a robot? Or do you bring your arm back as far as possible for a big wind-up shot?

You would bring your arm back and through right?

This is the same when hitting a soccer ball for power. Momentum is key.

You should incorporate as much hip drive in the movement as possible. This means that you bring your leg back as far as you are able, instead of only bending at the knee and striking the ball.

As long as you remember that most of the power is going to come from your hips you should generate enough power.

Contact Area

Hit the ball with the right part of your foot and your power will increase tenfold. Hit it with the wrong part of the foot, and your shot will either lose power or go wide.

For power shots, you want to avoid side-footing the soccer ball. Sure, you will have the most accurate shots but you won’t generate enough power to beat a goalie. Save these shots for passing or for open goal opportunities.

You should also avoid hitting the ball with your laces part of the cleat. Unless the ball is coming in the air from a cross, a laces shot will usually result in the ball dragging along the ground.

Toe pokes are another way to strike the ball. You can generate a lot of power by hitting the ball with your toe area. The problem with this type of shot is that it is generally inaccurate and unreliable.

The best place to hit the soccer ball is on the side of your foot below the laces. You should be able to feel this area as it’s the strongest bone in the foot.

Feel over the top of your foot where the laces are. Then move your hand to the left if you are right-footed, or to the right if you are left-footed. You should be able to feel the bone. This is the sweet spot for creating enough power in your shots.

Follow Through

Using our boxing analogy once again, you don’t generate power by stopping the punch at the point of impact. You want to follow through with the strike and punch through the target.

When you strike the ball, follow through with your foot toward the target.

One quick tip to avoid injury is to ensure you land on your striking foot, whilst raising your non-striking foot. This will enable you to stay more balanced when you land

Common Problems

For those looking to fine-tune their striking, here’s a quick list of the common problems I see with hitting a soccer ball for power.

Not enough swing

When you strike a soccer ball, make sure that you mean it. Avoid a weak backswing and think about putting all your power into delivering a powerful strike.

Stutter step

Making small steps toward the ball loses too much power. Avoid small steps and aim for 3-4 big ones.

Leaning back

Avoid leaning back too much. This will create too much height and the soccer ball will go miles into the air.

Scraper

You also want to avoid hitting the soccer ball too far down on your foot, which will scrape the ball across the ground losing power.

Leg Strength

If you’re still struggling for power, you might have weak leg muscles. There is little focus on having a decent amount of strength which is a mistake. Powerful thighs and leg muscles are fundamental to hitting a soccer ball with power. Glutes, too.

That doesn’t mean you should completely ignore technique and hit the gym instead of practicing your ball striking. But some leg strength improves the power output of your shots.

Speaking of which…

What Next?

Now that we’ve got all the steps in place, there’s one final tip: practice! All the theory in the world isn’t going to make you any better at hitting a soccer ball hard.

The best way to practice is to start with a few soccer balls on the goal line and hit them into a netted goal using the tips above.

When you feel more confident, increase the distance to the edge of the 6-yard box, then the penalty spot area, the edge of the 18-yard box, and then finally out as far as you feel comfortable.

Click on the links below to learn more about improving your soccer game.

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