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What is a Volley in Soccer?

What is a Volley in Soccer?

A volley is a technique used in soccer to shoot or pass the ball in mid-air, without letting it touch the ground.

This technique requires an experienced level of skill, timing and precision, and is often used by players to surprise their opponents and score goals.

Volleys can be performed with any part of the body, including the feet, head, and chest. They can be used to shoot the ball into the goal, pass the ball to a teammate, or clear the ball from your own half of the field.

Volleys can be performed from a variety of angles and distances and can be used in both offensive and defensive situations.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, learning how to perform a volley is an essential skill that can take your game to the next level.

Volley in Soccer


Volleys can be difficult to execute, as they require good timing, technique, and coordination.

To perform a volley, you typically need to be in a good position relative to the ball, with your body balanced and your eyes on the ball.

You also need to be able to strike the ball cleanly with your foot, using the right amount of force and direction to achieve your desired outcome.

There are several different types of volleys that you might see in a soccer game. Some common examples include:

  • The half-volley: This is where the player strikes the ball just after it bounces off the ground, rather than waiting for it to come to a complete stop.
  • The side-volley: This is where the player strikes the ball with the side of their foot, rather than the instep.
  • The scissor-kick: This is where the player jumps into the air and kicks the ball with both feet, usually while twisting their body to generate more power.

Volleys can be a great way to add flair to your game and show off your skills.

At the same time, they can be risky, as a missed volley can result in a lost possession or a goal for the other team. In this case, some coaches will want you to stick to the fundamentals and trap the ball first.

As with any soccer technique, it’s important to practice volleys regularly and to know when to use them in a game situation.

What is a Half Volley?

As mentioned above, a half volley in soccer is a technique where a player strikes the ball immediately after it bounces off the ground, without controlling it first.

Unlike a full volley, where the ball is struck in mid-air, a half volley allows the player to use the ground to their advantage, making it easier to control the ball.

But, sometimes it’s not easier. Depending on the field, the ball could bounce awkwardly. For example, on a natural grass field, there could be a small mound of dirt. If the soccer ball hits it just right, it could skip, bounce higher, or to the left or right.

No matter what position you play, practicing your half volleys should be equally as important as full-volleys.

How to Perform a Volley


To perform a volley, you need to approach the ball with the correct technique. Start by positioning yourself in front of the ball with your body facing the target. Keep your eyes on the ball and your knees slightly bent.

As the ball approaches, take a step forward with your non-dominant foot and plant it firmly on the ground. Swing your dominant leg back and then forward in a smooth motion, making contact with the ball in mid-air.

The technique starts with timing. Without anticipating the ball well, you won’t be able to make direct contact as the ball is approaching you.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips to help you improve your volley technique:

  • Practice your timing by hitting the ball at different heights and angles.
  • Use the inside of your foot for greater accuracy. Use your laces for power.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball at all times.
  • Follow through with your kicking leg to generate more power.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep practicing your technique and you’ll soon be able to perform a volley with confidence and accuracy.

To practice volleys, you can grab a friend or a teammate. One player drop kicks it while the player receiving it does a soccer volley trying to get it back to the player who first kicked it.

Famous Volleys in Soccer History

There’s no doubt that a volley can be an exciting moment in a soccer game. Here are some of the most famous volleys in soccer history:

Top 5 Volleys in Soccer History

1. Marco van Basten in the 1988 European Championship Final: Van Basten’s volley from an acute angle against the Soviet Union is widely regarded as one of the greatest goals in soccer history.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic against England in 2012: Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic volley from 30 yards out stunned the English team and fans alike.

3. Gareth Bale in the 2014 Copa del Rey Final: Bale’s volley from outside the box helped Real Madrid win the Copa del Rey against Barcelona.

4. Wayne Rooney against Manchester City in 2011: Rooney’s bicycle kick volley in the Manchester derby is considered one of the best goals in Premier League history.

5. David Beckham against Wimbledon in 1996: Beckham’s half-volley from the halfway line is one of the most iconic goals in soccer history.

More Recent Amazing Volleys

1. Mo Salah against Chelsea in 2021: Salah’s volley from outside the box helped Liverpool secure a crucial win against Chelsea in the Premier League.

2. Paul Pogba goal against Fulham in 2021: Pogba’s volley from the edge of the box helped Manchester United secure a win against Fulham in the Premier League.

3. Philippe Coutinho against Manchester United in 2019: Coutinho’s volley from outside the box helped Barcelona beat Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals.

4. Andros Townsend against Manchester City in 2018: Townsend’s volley from outside the box helped Crystal Palace beat Manchester City in the Premier League.

5. Olivier Giroud against Crystal Palace in 2017: Giroud’s scorpion kick volley is considered one of the best goals of the year.

Final Thoughts on Soccer Volleys

To wrap up, a volley in soccer is a technique where a player strikes the ball in mid-air without letting it hit the ground. Simple in concept but challenging in execution.

It honestly requires a high level of skill to pull it off, especially in a game.

While it is a difficult skill to master, with practice and dedication, players can improve their ability to execute a successful volley.

Every soccer player should have this move in their arsenal. I firmly believe that players who are more creative will find more success as their soccer career progresses.

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      Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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