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.

What is a Volley in Soccer

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

Key Takeaways From This Article:

  • Volleys are incredibly difficult to strike accurately so understand that it might veer off to the right or left.
  • It’s hard to plan for a volley. The best thing you can do is practice them when the opportunity arises.
  • Sometimes letting the ball take a short bounce will help you strike the ball more accurately.

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.

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 outside of team practice, 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. Or, use a soccer rebounder to volley the ball into the netting.

Types of Volleys in Soccer

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.

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.

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.

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 and timing 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!

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 soccernovo.com 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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