How Fast Can A Soccer Ball Be Kicked?
Have you ever wondered just how fast a soccer ball can be kicked? Maybe you just witnessed a banger of a goal and your mind is wondering how fast it was really traveling.
In this article, we’ll provide the record for the fastest soccer ball kicked and how fast other professional players can kick it.
At the end of this post, we’ll also present you with helpful tips on how to kick the soccer ball harder and why it might not also be in your best interest.
What’s the Record for Fastest Kick?
The Guinness World Record for the fastest-ever soccer ball kick is 80.1 miles per hour (128 km per hour), and it’s held by Francisco Javier Galan Màrin from Spain.
This record is still standing after almost 22 years. However, take note that the shot was made in a controlled environment on a television studio, not in an official match.
The fastest recorded speed for a soccer ball kicked by a professional player is 131 miles per hour (211 kilometers per hour), achieved by Ronny Heberson of Brazil’s Sport Club do Recife in 2006.
Professional Players’ Speeds
On average, professional soccer players can kick the ball around 70 miles per hour (112 km per hour).
Cristiano Ronaldo can kick the ball at an average of 80 miles per hour while David Beckham can kick the ball up to 98 miles per hour. Both speeds are amazingly fast.
Players with some of the fastest-recorded shots in history:
- Ronny Heberson (Brazil): 131 mph
- Argen Robben (Real Madrid): 118 mph
- Steven Reid (Blackburn Rovers) 117 mph
- Ronald Koeman (FC Barcelona): 116 mph
- David Hirst (Sheffield): 114 mph
- David Beckham (Manchester United): 98 mph
Professional players spend an insane amount of time training their strength and accuracy in order to kick a soccer ball at blazing-fast speeds, so don’t expect that you can do the same with only 3+ years of experience.
Speaking of training, if you want to improve your kicking power, you should train your core muscles, and hip and leg muscles.
Also, work on your balance and coordination when you are running on the pitch. It won’t matter how hard you kick if you are not even coordinated enough to strike the ball with proper technique.
How to Kick the Ball Harder
1. Relax when you kick the ball
This might seem counterintuitive but you players should try to relax as much as possible while they are striking the ball. Except for the ankles, the rest of the body should only have the bare minimum amount of tension. This will make the kick as smooth as possible.
2. The last stride should be the largest
When players are running up to the ball, they will be able to explode with more power if the last stride before the kick is as wide as possible. This will give a player’s leg more momentum while swinging, thereby striking the ball with more force.
3. Ensure follow-through
Players should keep their eye on the ball up to the last millisecond when the foot makes contact with it.
This will ensure that players are kicking the ball in the exact spot they are aiming for. This will also increase the accuracy and loft of the kick.
Should Players Focus on Kicking the Ball Faster?
Should soccer players focus their training on increasing the power of their kick? Is it of the utmost importance that they kick the ball as fast as they can? Although there are many benefits to being able to kick the ball at breakneck speeds, it also has its downsides.
Here are some of the pros and cons of kicking the ball fast all the time:
Pros of kicking the ball faster:
- Sometimes easier to score goals – If the goalkeeper cannot keep up with the ball, it will be more likely that the shot will go in between the posts. Even if the goalie can see where the ball is going, if it is traveling fast enough, he or she won’t be able to react fast enough to block it.
- Easier to clear the ball – A strong strike on the ball is not necessarily just for scoring. Players, especially defenders, can also use it for clearing the ball as quickly as possible. The faster a defending team can clear the ball, the quicker the offense can start a counter-attack.
- Sometimes makes passes easier – When passing the ball, players need to kick it hard enough that the defensive players will not be able to intercept it. A strong pass on the ground (not bouncing) can provide a direct advantage for an offensive team.
- Easier to score longer shots – A shot that has more power behind it can travel farther. For this reason, striking the ball with more force makes it more efficient to shoot from outside the penalty box.
Cons of kicking the ball faster:
- Less accuracy – Because some players are more concerned about putting more force into the kick, it can be less accurate if the proper technique is not in place. The key is to work on the fundamentals and technique first then extend the range.
- Will not curl – Most of the powerful shots on the goal have little to no spin on the ball. It is struck directly in the center with so much force that it almost creates a knuckleball effect. This will mean it will have less bend and trajectory when kicked with a focus on power.
Players develop at different times. And, a strong shot is not only determined by technique but also by body strength. For many youth soccer players, it is important to practice patience. As a player’s body gets more mature and stronger, so will their shot.
If you watch youth soccer at any level, the majority of the goals aren’t scored by pure power but by placement.
Accuracy can be more effective than speed. Train on becoming a more accurate passer and scorer. Developing speed behind your shot will come as the years progress. Then, they would couple together and it will make you a much better player!