How to Kick a Soccer Ball: 10 Tips for the Perfect Kick (2024)

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

How do you kick a soccer ball? Knowing how to kick a soccer ball is one of the most important skills of the beautiful game. Whether you’re a beginning youth player learning to kick a ball for the first time or a more advanced player looking for tips to improve your technique, this blog has you covered.

The best way to improve any skill in soccer is by going outside to the field and practicing over and over again. In soccer, repetition is key due to muscle memory and getting better at any skill, whether it be kicking a ball, juggling a ball, or dribbling a ball, requires consistent training.

In this blog, I will cover 10 important tips to help you kick a soccer ball properly.

How to Kick a Soccer Ball Master the First Touch

The first touch refers to the initial moment a player makes contact with the ball. As a soccer player you need to be constantly thinking ahead of the play so that when you get a pass, you can use your first touch to instantly set you up for your next action.

A poor first touch could lead to slowing down the play or even worse you may lose possession of the ball. It is also very important to train both feet, right and left foot, and be comfortable taking a first touch with either foot.

Remember, your first touch is the first step towards taking a proper soccer kick.

Focus on the Ball and Your Target

When it comes to improving proper technique for kicking a soccer ball, mental concentration is just as important as any other type of concentration. This involves keeping an eye on both the ball and your target, or at least knowing and not losing track of either object, as you are about to kick the ball.

Elite footballers have elite proprioception, or body awareness, as well as elite body control, due to having elite fascia connections throughout their body, which allows them to just know where the ball is without having to look down. See this video to get a better idea of what I am talking about: Rodrygo From Real Madrid Dribbling.

In the video, Rodrygo is primarily dribbling, not kicking the ball, however the better you get at this skill of knowing where the ball is without having to look down, the easier all other skills will become because you won’t have to worry about only keeping your eyes on the ball.

Keep the ankle locked

Now comes the part of kicking a soccer ball that involves making contact with the ball. To correctly kick a ball, and do any other soccer skill correctly, you have to master “locking your ankle.

To lock the ankle means you create a rigid and strong fixed position with the ankle joint during athletic movements such as when sprinting, passing, juggling, dribbling, or kicking the ball.

When you learn to lock the ankle you keep it stable, strong, and firm, instead of wobbly, which will lead to wobbly kicks. To learn more about how to unlock elite-level ankle stiffness to develop elite athleticism, reduce the risk of injuries, and improve your kicking technique check out the following blogs.

Once you learn to lock the ankle, to shoot the soccer ball accurately and with power it is best to make contact with the ball using the top part of your soccer cleats, the laces. This part will allow you to get the most power out of your shot.

How to Kick a Soccer Ball

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Proper Foot Placement

Proper foot placement is just as important as locking your ankle and hitting the ball with the right area of the cleat. As you run up to kick the ball, place the non kicking foot, or plant foot, fairly close to the ball and make sure that the inside of the cleats is pointing to the ball.

You also want to make sure that the toes of the non kicking foot, the plant foot, are facing the direction in which you want the ball to go. For example, if you want the ball to go straight ahead then the toes of the plant foot should be pointed straight ahead.

Use Your Arms

Much like the way your arms naturally move as you walk or run, they also play a crucial role in how well you can kick the soccer ball. The synchronized motion of your arms serves to stabilize your torso, maintain balance, and facilitate the proper movement of your feet.

There’s no need to overanalyze your arm movements when kicking a soccer ball. Simply let your arms swing naturally as you approach the ball and remember that the faster your arms swing, the quicker your legs will follow.

When it’s time to kick the ball, smoothly extend both your arms, focusing more on the opposite arm of the shooting leg to gain more balance and power. .

Train Both Feet

To help improve your overall kicking abilities it is smart to practice kicking with both feet. If you only practice using one foot to kick the ball, then the kicking foot will become really good at kicking, but it will lack the balance and stability needed when it needs to act like the planter foot, or non kicking foot.

A player who has trained both feet equally will be far more versatile, confident, creative, and dangerous on the pitch than those who rely mainly on their more dominant foot. The goal is to become so confident kicking with both feet that you no longer need to always get the ball to your more dominant foot and you can use both feet naturally.

How to Kick a Soccer Ball Image by Kobby Mendez

Create a “V” with your kicking leg

A very helpful cue and something to think about to help get more power when kicking a soccer ball is to think about creating a “V” shape with the kicking leg as you bring it back. This will help you develop more power and you will be able to use more momentum to your advantage.

Body Position and Alignment

Kicking a soccer ball is not only about how hard you can kick the ball, but it is more about how hard you can kick the ball while maintaining proper balance and technique.

Angling your body correctly toward your target plays a huge role in achieving the desired results with each kick. The angle at which you approach the ball impacts how much curve the ball will get. For the most part, you don’t usually want to be running in a straight line to kick the ball. Instead run up to the ball at an angle, although sometimes during a game you will have to hit it straight on.

Choose Where to Hit the Ball

When kicking a soccer ball, aim for the sweet spot of the ball which will be right in the middle of it. Part of hitting the ball in the correct spot requires leaning over the ball to get a more accurate kick, since leaning too much backwards will send the ball in the air, but leaning too much forwards will keep the ball on the ground.

The kind of kick you’re aiming for will decide which area of your foot should hit the ball. For instance, when executing a power shot, striking with your laces (the top part) is typically recommended due to its large surface area that allows for more power.

If you are going for a more accurate kick, over a power shot, such as during passes or close-range attempts, using the inside edge (instep) offers better control. Practice kicking the ball using various parts of the foot and get familiar with all of the techniques.

Following Through After Kick

A ‘follow through’ in soccer means continuing movement even after making contact with the ball, similar to how a golfer continues the swing motion after hitting the golf ball. Following through ensures you are making proper contact with the ball and the momentum you are using helps get even more power on the ball.

A helpful rule of thumb here is ensuring the shooting leg follows the trajectory of the intended path. For example, if the goal lies straight ahead, your follow through should continue with your foot forward in the direction you want the ball to go.

Also, it is very important to make sure that you land on your shooting foot and get used to doing so. Landing on your kicking foot helps you get more momentum in your shoot.

How to Kick a Soccer BallImage by Katrina Berban

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

What part of your foot do you use to kick a soccer ball?

There are various ways to properly kick a ball when playing soccer. If you want a powerful kick it is best to use the laces, or top part of the soccer cleats, but if you want a more accurate kick it is best to use the instep of the soccer cleats. .

How do you kick a soccer ball in the air?

To kick a soccer ball in the air you will need to hit below the middle of the ball and get under the ball. If you hit the middle of the ball or the top, the ball will stay on the ground, however if you hit the bottom of the ball, you will send the ball higher in the air. The more practice you get at this, the better you will understand how to kick the ball high in the air.

Conclusion

In conclusion, mastering the art of kicking a soccer ball involves a blend of physical and mental concentration as well as consistent practice daily. If you have dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, mastering the art of kicking a soccer ball is one of the most important things you can start doing right now.

In this blog I provided you with 10 essential tips to improve how you kick a soccer ball, regardless of if you are a beginner, or a professional player.

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