In a tactical but low-scoring game like soccer, you’ve got to make every shot count. Opportunities for goals don’t come often. Having a weak strike of the ball makes it easier for the goalie to react, gives you less room for error, and makes you more likely to miss that opportunity.
If you’re looking to be the next star forward, building the strength of your shot is the first place to start. Get out on the pitch or use a multi-sport simulator and hit the ball cleanly and powerfully with these tips.
Just like in practically any other ball sport, raw muscle strength will only get you so far. You also need to get physics working in your favor, hit the ball correctly, and make the transfer of power as efficiently as possible. To do that, you need to be in the right position when you make contact with the soccer ball.
Make sure you’ve got enough of a run-up so you can build power before your leg swings. If the ball’s right at your feet, dribble it forward a few feet more to give yourself room.
You want to be leaning over the ball when you kick it for maximum leverage. That means when you make contact, your non-kicking foot should be about a foot and half from the side of the ball, not in front of it or behind it.
The angle at which you approach the ball is also important, as you’ll get more power when your kicking foot can make a full arc. That means coming in from the left of the ball if you’re a right-footer, and from the right if you’re a left-foot kicker.
Here’s the moment of truth. Again, a clean, uncomplicated strike is the key to an efficient transfer of power. Make sure you practice these steps over and over until you can do it without thinking!
- Relax any tension in your upper body and legs, which can cramp the kick and cause you to kick inaccurately.
- Take short steps toward the ball.
- Finish with a long stride to plant your non-striking foot beside the ball, as described above, with this foot pointing in the direction of where you want the ball to go.
- With your head over the ball, bend your non-striking leg slightly at the knees and draw back your other foot completely.
- Lock your ankle by pointing the toes of the kicking foot down at the ground.
- Swing the foot through.
- Aim to hit halfway up the ball, right on the knuckle of your big toe (but not on the toes).
- As you hit the ball, extend the foot in a snapping motion for extra power.
- Maintain your head over the ball so you don’t lean back and loft it.
- Make sure to follow through by swinging your foot in a complete arc.
How to Train Well
While most of your power will come from using the correct technique, there’s no doubt that doing some strength exercises will also help with striking the ball well. Sprints, squats, lunges, and weight work will all contribute to bigger muscles and more force behind each kick.
Of course, it also goes without saying that you should also commit to regular and frequent practice, and it’s especially helpful to get feedback, too. One way is to watch professional soccer players and compare your action to theirs, but an even better way is with a multi-sports simulator.
Not only do interactive soccer simulators provide a fantastic way to offer high-precision data on your kick and chart your progress, but high-quality sports simulators also have training modes, soccer games, and exercises that are an excellent way to keep motivated. Best of all, when you do nail that power strike, you don’t have to go far to get the ball back!
To find out more about how Foresight Sports can help transform your soccer skills, contact us online or call us at (858) 880-0179 today!