How to Shoot a Soccer Ball (with Power & Accuracy)
Learning how to shoot a soccer ball with power and accuracy can give your game another dimension for success. After all, the objective of soccer is scoring goals.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned soccer player, shooting is a fundamental skill that can make all the difference in a game.
From my coaching days, I think it’s important to focus on form and accuracy first, and then power will develop as the player gets older. This is tough to teach because kids just want to boot it as hard as they can.
In this article, we’ll take a step back and cover some tips and techniques for shooting a soccer ball like a pro!
How to Shoot a Soccer Ball: Step-by-Step
Shooting a soccer ball is a critical skill that every soccer player should master. Here are the steps to follow when shooting a soccer ball:
- Position your body correctly: Your body position is essential to take an effective shot at the goal. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your non-kicking foot pointing towards the target, and your kicking foot slightly behind the ball.
- Choose your target: Look up and choose your target before striking the ball. Focus on the area of the net you want to hit and aim for it.
- Plant your non-kicking foot: Plant your non-kicking foot next to the ball, pointing towards your target. This foot provides stability and helps you maintain balance when striking the ball.
- Strike the ball with your instep: Use the inside of your foot to strike the ball, hitting it with the laces area. This technique provides accuracy and power to your shot.
- Follow-through: After striking the ball, follow through with your kicking foot. Your foot should continue in the direction of your target and land on the ground.
- Practice, practice, practice: Shooting a soccer ball takes practice and repetition. Keep practicing until you feel comfortable and confident with your technique. This is an ongoing process so you should practice shooting no matter your age or position.
For visual learners, here is a helpful video on how to shoot.
Remember, shooting a soccer ball is not just about power. It’s also about accuracy and technique. By following these steps, you can improve your shooting skills and become a more effective player on the field.
Parts of the Foot You Can Use to Strike a Soccer Ball
Striking the ball in the right spot can determine whether the ball ends up in the back of the net or soaring over the crossbar. Here are some tips on where to strike the ball on a shot:
Inside of the Foot
The inside of the foot is the most commonly used surface for striking the ball. It provides accuracy and control, making it ideal for shots that require placement rather than power.
To strike the ball with the inside of your foot, plant your non-kicking foot beside the ball and swing your kicking foot towards the ball. Make contact with the ball using the inside of your foot, aiming for the center of the ball.
The instep, or laces, is the surface used for powerful shots. This technique allows you to generate more power and speed on the ball.
To strike the ball with your instep, plant your non-kicking foot beside the ball and swing your kicking foot towards the ball. Make contact with the ball using the top of your foot, just below the laces.
Outside of the Foot
The outside of the foot is a less common surface used for striking the ball. It is ideal for shots that require a curved trajectory, such as bending the ball around a wall of defenders or the goalkeeper.
To strike the ball with the outside of your foot, plant your non-kicking foot beside the ball and swing your kicking foot towards the ball. Make contact with the ball using the outside of your foot, aiming for the middle of the ball.
Different Types of Soccer Shots
Shooting the ball is one of the most important skills in soccer. There are different types of soccer shots that you can use depending on the situation.
In this section, we will discuss three types of soccer shots that you should master: Straight Shot, Curved Shot, and Chip Shot.
A straight shot is the most common type of soccer shot. It involves shooting the ball in a straight line towards the goal with the inside or laces of your foot. To execute a straight shot, follow these steps:
- Plant your non-kicking foot beside the ball.
- Keep your eyes on the ball and your head down.
- Swing your kicking foot through the ball, striking it with the laces or inside of your foot.
- Follow through with your kicking foot towards the target.
A straight shot is good for shooting from a distance or when you have a clear sight of the goal.
Your body position matters here. I see many kids leaning too far left or right with very little balance. What happens? The ball doesn’t go straight or the ball has too much top spin.
A curved shot is a shot that curves in the air towards the goal. It can be used to surprise the goalkeeper or to get around defenders. To execute a curved shot, follow these steps:
- Approach the ball at an angle.
- Place your non-kicking foot beside the ball.
- Aim for the far post if you are shooting from the left side, or the near post if you are shooting from the right side.
- Swing your kicking foot across the ball, striking it with the outside of your foot.
- Follow through with your kicking foot towards the target.
A curved shot requires practice to master, but it can be a valuable skill to have in your arsenal.
A chip shot is a shot that is lifted off the ground and over the goalkeeper. It can be used when the goalkeeper is off their line or when you are close to the goal. To execute a chip shot, follow these steps:
- Approach the ball at a slight angle.
- Keep your head up and your eyes on the goal.
- Strike the ball with the toe of your foot, lifting it off the ground.
- Follow through slightly with your kicking foot towards the target.
A chip shot is less common than the other two because it’s based on the goalie coming out of his or her box. It also requires precision and finesse, but it can be a great way to score a goal in a tight situation.
Strengthening Your Shooting Skills in Soccer
As players get into high school and college, strength training is an important part of becoming a great soccer player. Here are some exercises that can help you develop the strength you need to shoot with power:
- Squats: Squats are a great exercise for developing leg strength. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body as if you were sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Lunges: Lunges are another great exercise for developing leg strength. Step forward with one foot and lower your body until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Practice games are a great way to improve your shooting skills. Here are some games you can play to help you become a better shooter:
- Shooting Drills: Set up cones or other obstacles on the field and practice shooting around them. This will help you develop your accuracy and power.
- Small-Sided Games: Small-sided games are a great way to practice shooting in game-like situations. Play 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 games and focus on shooting whenever you get the ball.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
When it comes to shooting a soccer ball, there are several common mistakes that I see many youth players make.
However, with a little bit of practice and attention to detail, you can easily avoid these mistakes and improve your shooting technique.
1. Not Focusing on the Basics
One of the most common mistakes that players make is not focusing on the basics. Ignoring the basics increases the likelihood that you’ll miss simple passes, lose the ball, and not know which positions to take up on the field. Some of the basic skills that you should focus on include:
- Proper ball control
- Accurate passing
- Good footwork
- Body positioning
By mastering these basic skills, you’ll be able to improve your shooting technique and become a more effective player on the pitch.
2. Poor Body Positioning
When you’re shooting a soccer ball, it’s important to maintain your balance and body shape. This means keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your head up, and maintaining a straight back.
By doing this, you’ll be able to generate more power and accuracy when you shoot the ball.
Stability is key when putting force into the soccer ball.
3. Not Looking Up
Before you strike the soccer ball, it’s important to look up and assess the situation near the goal. This means figuring out where the defenders and goalkeeper is.
Quickly scan, identify, and shoot towards the spot where you find the back of the net.
4. Overthinking Your Shot
Finally, many players make the mistake of overthinking their shot.
When you’re in front of the goal, it’s easy to get nervous and start second-guessing yourself. However, this can lead to inaccurate shots and missed opportunities.
Instead, try to stay calm and focus on the basics. Keep your eye on the ball, maintain good body positioning, and trust your instincts. With practice, you’ll be able to shoot the ball with confidence and accuracy.
By following the steps outlined in this article, you can improve your soccer shooting skills and become a better player. Remember to focus on your balance, aim, and power when taking a shot. Practice regularly to develop your technique and build up your confidence.
Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:
- Always look up before kicking the ball to assess the field and your options.
- Focus on finding your balance before taking a shot.
- Use the inside of your foot to strike the ball for better accuracy.
- Practice shooting from different angles and distances to improve your skills.
- Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you.
With practice and perseverance, you can become a skilled soccer player and score more goals for your team. Keep these tips in mind and keep working on your technique to take your game to the next level.
From a coaching perspective, the young players that develop their shot early on will have more opportunities to play different positions as they develop. This is very valuable for a soccer team.
Frequently Asked Questions
To shoot a soccer ball with accuracy, you need to focus on your body position, the point of contact with the ball, and your aim. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your non-kicking foot next to the ball. As you approach the ball, plant your kicking foot beside it, and keep your head up to focus on your target. Use the inside of your foot to strike the ball, and aim for the spot you want it to go.
There are several types of shots in soccer, including the instep drive, the side-foot shot, the volley, the chip, and the curling shot. Each type of shot requires a different technique and level of skill, so it’s important to practice them all to become a well-rounded player.
To shoot a soccer ball with more power, you need to focus on your approach, body position, and technique. Start by taking a few steps back from the ball to build momentum. As you approach the ball, plant your non-kicking foot beside it, and keep your knee over the ball. Use the laces of your foot to strike the ball and follow through with your kicking leg to generate power. In many cases, you’ll simply need to get older and stronger to strike the ball with more power.
To kick a soccer ball without hurting your foot or leg, you need to use proper technique and wear the right gear. Start by wearing cleats that fit properly and provide good support. When striking the ball, use the laces of your foot and keep your toes pointed down to avoid injuring them. Practice proper technique to build strength and avoid injury. Ensure you are grazing the grass or turf and not getting too close where your cleat might naturally dig into it.