How to Strike a Soccer Shot

Shooting

Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United prepares to take a shot
Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United prepares to take a shot. Getty Images

Striking your soccer shot is one of the key skills because it is the most common way of scoring a goal. Accuracy is the most important aspect because without getting the shot on target, you cannot hope to score. Power is important, but a forceful shot that balloons over the cross bar has no chance of finding the net, but an accurate shot that lacks velocity, does.

Space Between Player and Ball

Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids pushes up the ball to attempt a shot on goal
Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids pushes up the ball to attempt a shot on goal against the San Jose Earthquakes. Getty Images

It is ideal if the ball is at least two or three feet in front of you before taking the shot. This is not always possible in match situations, but there needs to be space between player and ball.

The Run Up

Molina Uribe Mauricio Alejandro of Seongnam shoots for goal
Molina Uribe Mauricio Alejandro of Seongnam shoots for goal. Getty Images

Run at a side angle towards the ball, and as you go to hit it, the landing foot should be about six inches away and pointing towards the target. Locking your ankles will help you to get a good on the ball and planting your hips will ensure you remain steady.

Pointing your toes down will ensure more control and reduce the chances of your shot going too high.

Bending your knees will add more power and control to the shot.

Knee Over Ball

Andy Najar of D.C. United shoots the ball against the New York Red Bulls
Andy Najar of D.C. United shoots the ball against the New York Red Bulls. Getty Images

The knee on your kicking foot should be over the ball before , the arm on your non-kicking side should be out in front of you for balance and your chest forward as you kick it. Leaning over the ball will help you keep the shot down.

Bring your kicking leg back but not too far because you will have less control of the shot.

Strike With the Laces

Tomislav Pondeljak of Australia takes a shot
Tomislav Pondeljak of Australia takes a shot. Getty Images

The leg and upper body movement should be combined. The ball should be struck quickly on the laces of your boot and as you are doing this, keep your head steady and over the ball, watching the ball as you kick it. If your head goes up and you look at the goal as you shoot, it is more likely you will hit it off target.

You should already have an idea in your head of roughly where the ball is going to go. Corners are ideal because they are the hardest areas of the goal for the goalkeeper to reach.

Try to hit the middle of the ball as this will help you get the most force. Don’t lean back too much, otherwise the shot is more likely to go over the bar.

Follow Through

Carlos Tevez of Manchester City follows through after shooting
Carlos Tevez of Manchester City follows through after shooting. Getty Images

Follow through with your knee still slightly bent and your toes aimed forward. It is important to follow through because that is where the power comes from.

Increased Power

Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy watches his shot
Landon Donovan of the Los Angeles Galaxy watches his shot during an MLS match against the Kansas City Wizards. Getty Images

To add more power to the shot, many players lift themselves around a foot off the ground and land on the kicking foot first. On with the ball they lift their non kicking foot off the ground. This means they are not just using the strength of the kicking leg, but their body mass to add power to the ball.

Landon Donovan is in the process of landing on his kicking foot in the above photo as he aims to inject more power into the shot.

You can practice doing this without the ball first.

Accuracy is key when shooting as without getting the ball on target, you do not have a chance of scoring a goal, unless the shot is deflected back on target.

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