Curving a kick in soccer can add an element of unpredictability to your game. By making a ball move vertically or horizontally, you can keep the goalie guessing and place the ball where you want it.
Curving the ball involves striking the ball in a way that creates spin, causing the ball to move in a curved path.
Honestly, every player should know how to curve a soccer ball. And, it can start at an early age but it’s always important to start with your fundamentals. Youth players who can curve the ball simply add another element to their offensive game. Even a subtle curve can get by a defender and your teammate. This skill is invaluable as you develop your game even further.
In this article, we’ll address some techniques and drills you can do at home to practice. You’ll be curving the ball like a pro in no time!
How To Cuve the Ball in Soccer: Step-by-Step
Before you can curve a soccer ball, you need to approach the ball correctly.
Start by standing a few steps behind the ball and approaching it at an angle.
This angle will depend on the direction you want the ball to curve. If you want the ball to curve to the right, approach the ball from the left side.
If you want the ball to curve to the left, approach the ball from the right side.
When it comes to foot placement, it’s important to use the inside or outside of your foot to strike the ball.
If you’re right-footed and want to curve the ball to the right, use the inside of your right foot to strike the ball.
If you’re left-footed and want to curve the ball to the left, use the inside of your left foot to strike the ball.
Make sure your non-kicking foot is pointing in the direction you want the ball to go. This helps with accuracy and control. Keep your ankle locked and strike the ball on the side, not the center. At the same time, your foot should be angled to slice the ball.
The follow-through is crucial for curving the ball. After striking the ball, follow through with your kicking foot in the direction you want the ball to go.
This motion helps create the spin necessary for the ball to curve. Remember to keep your body balanced and your eyes on the soccer ball throughout the entire process. With practice, you’ll be able to curve the ball with ease.
- Approach the ball at an angle
- Use the inside (slice in) or outside of your foot (slice away) to strike the ball
- Keep your non-kicking foot pointed in the direction you want the ball to go
- Slice the ball and don’t strike it in the center of the ball
- Follow through with your kicking foot in the direction you want the ball to go
The Physics of Curving a Soccer Ball
Curving a soccer ball is all about manipulating the ball’s spin, velocity, and angle in just the right way. Here’s what you need to know:
When a soccer player kicks the ball to curve it through the air, they kick it in a way that causes the ball to spin.
As the ball spins, the air splits around the ball—part of the air travels in the direction opposite the spin and the other part travels in the same direction as the spin.
This creates a difference in air pressure on either side of the ball, which causes it to curve.
The faster the ball is traveling, the less time it has to curve before reaching its target.
This means that a ball kicked at a higher velocity will curve less than a ball kicked at a lower velocity.
However, if the ball is kicked too slowly, it may not have enough spin to curve at all. It’s a delicate balance that you’ll only figure out after trying many times.
When a ball is kicked at an angle, it has both horizontal and vertical velocity components.
The horizontal component determines how far the ball will travel before hitting the ground, while the vertical component determines how high the ball will go. The greater the angle of the kick, the more the ball will curve.
This is the boring stuff ☝️ Now, let’s get to the fun part…actually kicking the soccer ball so it curves.
Here are some effective drills that can help you improve your bending skills:
Find a wall and stand about 5-10 yards away from it. Pass the ball against the wall and then quickly move to the side to receive the ball back.
As you receive the ball, use the inside or outside of your foot to curl it back towards the wall.
Repeat this drill, alternating feet and gradually increasing your speed and accuracy.
This drill will help you work on your passing, receiving, and bending skills. It will also help you develop a better understanding of how to use the wall to your advantage.
Set up a soccer goal and place the ball about 20-25 yards away.
Take a few steps back and then approach the ball at an angle. As you strike the ball, use the inside or outside of your foot to curl it towards the far post or top corner of the goal.
Repeat this drill several times, alternating feet and aiming for different parts of the goal. This drill will help you work on your accuracy, power, and bending skills.
It will also help you develop a better understanding of how to use your body and foot position to generate the right amount of spin on the ball.
How to Curl a Pass
Curving a pass is a great way to get around defenders and make a precise pass to your teammate. Here’s how you can do it:
- Start by positioning yourself correctly. You want to be facing your target with your body open to the side, so you can swing your kicking foot across your body.
- Plant your non-kicking foot firmly on the ground, and point it in the direction you want the ball to go.
When you swing your kicking foot, aim to hit the ball with the inside of your foot, near the bottom of the ball.
- As you hit the ball, swing your foot across your body in the direction you want the ball to curve.
- Kick the ball into space so your teammate can run to it. Keep in mind that the ball will curve so you’ll want to anticipate where your teammate is going.
- Follow through with your kick, and make sure to keep your body balanced.
Remember, it takes practice to get the timing and technique right. Start with short passes, and gradually increase the distance and speed of your passes as you improve.
When to Bend a Kick – Bend It Like Beckham!
Bending a kick is appropriate in certain situations. Here are some scenarios where bending a kick can be useful:
- When you want to get past a defender: If there’s a defender in front of you, bending a kick can help you get around them. Aim the ball to one side of the defender and then bend it back towards the goal. This can create an opening for you to get past the defender and take a shot.
- When you want to score a goal: Bending a kick can be a great way to score a goal. If the goalie is standing in the center of the goal, aim the ball to one side and then bend it back towards the opposite corner of the goal. This can make it difficult for the goalie to reach the ball and increase your chances of scoring.
- When you want to pass to a teammate: Bending a kick can also be useful when you want to pass the ball to a teammate. If the defender is blocking the passing lane, bend the ball around them to get the ball to your teammate.
Final Thoughts on How to Curve a Soccer Ball
Curving a soccer ball is a skill that takes time and practice to master.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can improve your technique and increase your chances of successfully curving the ball.
Remember to focus on your body position, foot placement, and follow-through, and to experiment with different angles and approaches until you find the method that works best for you.
With dedication and hard work, you can become a more skilled player and include this in your soccer arsenal!
Want more to add to your soccer toolbelt? Learn how to kick a knuckleball.