Kicking a soccer ball is not always as straightforward as you might think. You can add an element of surprise to your kicks by making the ball curve in mid-flight. By kicking the ball with varying amounts of spin, it is possible to achieve a dramatic bend in the path of your kick. Experiment with different strengths of kicks combined with the right amount of spin, and you’ll be able to catch your opponents off guard curving the ball around them.
1. Spinning the Soccer Ball
- Line up your kick. Approach the ball at an angle of 90 degrees. You will plant your non-kicking foot about 12-16 inches away from the ball.
- Set up slightly off-center from where you would if you wanted to kick the ball straight.
- A right-footed kicker should approach the ball from left to right and a left-footed kicker from right to left.
- Begin your approach 7-10 feet back with enough room for 3 strides before kicking.
- Strike the ball off-center with the inside of your foot. To make the bell curve, you have to make the ball spin in flight. Spinning the ball is achieved by applying more force to one side than the other.
- Aim your kick to the bottom and outside of the ball. To make the ball curve to the left you need to kick it on the right side to apply counter-clockwise spin. Kicking the ball on the left side will make it spin clockwise and curve right.
- Kick the ball with different amounts of power. The amount of spin on the ball will vary based upon how hard you kick and where you strike the ball.
- Practice different strengths of kicks to see which gives you the most spin.
- Strike the ball in different positions to vary the amount of spin you give the ball.
Photo By Hayden Schiff (Image Source Here)
2. Practicing the Kick
- Set up a target to curve the ball around. Place a cone 20-30 feet in front of where the ball is placed. Use this as a guide to practice curving the ball around the cone.
- Place the cone directly in front of your kicking path.
- Aim the ball to the side of the cone.
- Try to get the ball to curve back around the cone after passing it.
- Kick the ball low and off to one side. As you strike the ball aim for a spot that is near the bottom of the ball to provide lift. Depending on which side of the ball you kick, you will get different directions of spin, and consequently, different directions of the curve.
- A clockwise spin, from a kick to the left side of the ball, will create a curve to the right.
- Counter-clockwise spin, from a kick to the right side of the ball, will curve the ball to the left.
- Swing your leg around as your kick. As you move your leg forward and strike the ball, add extra spin by pushing the ball around with your foot.
- While your foot is in contact with the ball bring your leg across your body to give the ball extra spin.
- Attempt kicks from various field positions. There are many times when curving a soccer ball can be useful during a game. Try kicking the ball with spin from various field positions to practice for game time:
- Corner Kicks
- Free Kicks