Every soccer player out there aspires to become the greatest in the sport. Knowing numerous soccer tactics and skills is a smart way of increasing your overall performance—and also increasing your average confidence on the field.
One of the key tactics to becoming an outstanding player is knowing how to effectively curve soccer balls. Players who know how to adequately curve soccer balls are often unstoppable on the pitch.
Knowing how to curve soccer balls is effective whether you’re throwing in a bending cross, swerving the ball around the keeper into the top or bottom corner of the net, or trying to send balls into the path of a teammate.
Being able to arc balls makes soccer more exciting for both viewers and players alike. The pleasure gotten from watching goals scored by curving balls is on another level.
In this piece, we shall be looking at the fundamentals of how to effectively curve soccer balls like some of your favorite players.
You will also be learning the many different ways of curving balls, the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, and also, the most essential things to remember when trying to master the act of curving balls like pro soccer players.
How to Curve a Soccer Ball?
Knowing how to effectively curve a soccer ball is a key step in becoming a renowned soccer player, regardless of whatever position you might be playing.
By mastering this skill, you can easily curve balls around goalies into the net, make brilliant defense-splitting passes to teammates, or reverse direction and get past the opposing side’s defensive players.
Once you’ve mastered the art of bending soccer balls, you’ll be able to employ it in a variety of situations on the pitch. An experienced player can effectively curve a stationary soccer ball as well as a ball already in motion.
They can do this with both the inside and outside of their foot, regardless of the location of the ball on the pitch. So, do you want to know the most effective ways of curving balls? Keep reading to find out.
How to curve a stationary ball (Free kicks and corners)
This tactic is usually applied when the ball stands in a static position, it works excellently well for free kicks and corners. To perform this tactic, you’ll need to position yourself properly and take your time with the run-up.
The most crucial factor, in this case, is the location of the ball. During a free kick or corner, both you and the ball must be in the same position without any interference from opponents while making your move.
It is often easier to arc balls in this situation since you can adequately strategize your actions and target (the run you will make, as well as the strength of your kick) before shooting. However, to curve a stationary soccer ball correctly, you must utilize either the inside or outside of your foot.
Using the inside of your foot to curve a soccer ball
Whether you’re a goalie taking a goal kick or a soccer player crossing the ball to teammates from a corner, the inside of the foot can be used to work wonders with stationary soccer balls.
Here are the methods for curving stationary soccer balls with the inside of your foot.
- Step 1: Set up the ball and prepare for run-up
Start by positioning the soccer ball appropriately and backing away from it a few strides so you can gain a short run-up to it. For better results, maintain a distance of between 3 to 4 strides.
Right-footed players should always approach the ball from the left, whereas left-footed players can approach the ball from the right.
When taking a corner or a freekick, always try to approach the ball at a 45-degree angle or slightly more, depending on your confidence level. You may want to approach it from an angle slightly greater than 45 degrees (maybe 90 degrees) for freekicks.
This will let you curve balls into the goal area with ease and desired accuracy. If you sprint towards the ball at a difficult angle, it will be problematic to manage your shot as well as your speed.
- Step 2: Position yourself to kick the soccer ball
Before kicking the ball, make sure your standing foot is firmly planted next to your kicking foot. This will provide you with enough stamina, a better-aiming opportunity, as well as the needed steadiness.
Put your non-kicking foot slightly inclined in the direction you want the ball to travel. The non-kicking leg’s knee should point in the same direction as the foot.
Ensure your standing foot is close enough to the ball so you don’t strain to reach it. The kicking foot should be far enough from the ball to maximize force but close enough to reduce the chances of missing the ball. The standard distance should be roughly 15-inches.
- Step 3: Bring your body into line
When you are about to kick the ball, lean your body slightly towards the direction you would want it to travel. For example, when kicking the soccer ball, if you want it to curve towards the left while using your right foot, your body should be slightly leaned to the left.
Your kicks will naturally curve balls towards your leaned sides while heading for their target. Knowing how to arc balls helps in improving balance, accuracy, and kicking force.
- Step 4: Kick the soccer ball into motion
To add a curve to the ball during flight, kick it with the inside of your foot. Use the area of your foot directly following your big toe. You won’t be able to produce an accurate curve if you hit the ball with the wrong part of your foot.
To be able to successfully curve a soccer ball, you must cause it to spin in flight. Applying greater power to one side of the ball than other parts to make it spin.
If you wish to curve the ball to the left while kicking with your right foot (or if you are right-footed), you should make contact with the bottom right section of the soccer ball. Strike the bottom left side of the ball with your left foot to bend it right.
To raise the height of your kick, strike the ball further down. If you kick under the ball with your toes, it may go over the top of the goal or the heads of your teammates in the box.
For more experienced players, lean slightly forward when striking the ball from below to make it travel over the wall before dipping back down.
- Step 5: Move your body
The rest of your body should sync with the movement of the pass or shot while the standing foot remains anchored to the floor. Make sure to keep your kicking foot moving in the same direction you kicked the ball since this will enhance accuracy.
- Easier than other forms of curving the ball
- Players have adequate time to prepare for the kick
- The large surface area on the foot assures control and precision
- It is easy to predict the direction of the soccer ball
Using the outside of your foot to curve a soccer ball
Curving a soccer ball with the outside of the foot is significantly more difficult to learn than doing it with the inside. Soccer players seldom utilize the outside of their feet for corners or for crossing the ball from the flanks into the 18-yard box.
Ricardo Quaresma often does a famous kick where he bends balls with the outside of his right foot. This kick is called trivela in Portugal. Fans love it when he does it especially when he uses it in scoring a goal.
Many players often do the trivela but not as good as Roberto Quaresma and Croatia’s Luka Modric. During a Euro 2020 match Luka Modric scored a fantastic goal by curving the ball with the outside of his foot in a crucial match against Scotland.
Knowing how to curve soccer balls with outside of the foot can have a huge impact on the outcome of matches. Dragon Stojkovic, the great Serbian midfielder even has a YouTube channel where videos dedicated to the trivela are posted.
Here’s how to curve a soccer ball using the outside of your foot while it is stationary.
- Step 1: Move towards the soccer ball
When using the outside of your foot, you must begin your approach exactly behind the ball, with the goal in front of you. Setting up on an angle when striking the ball with the inside of your foot is not the same as when doing it with the outside of your foot.
Because of the curve, aim slightly to one side of the goal. This allows the ball to make a curve. Extend your run-up and use additional energy to produce more spin on the ball with the outside of your foot.
- Step 2: Properly position your standing foot
Much like the first curve we discussed, stationing your foot appropriately close to the ball, goes a long way in determining accuracy. When curving the ball with the outside of your foot, your standing foot should be around 1 foot behind the ball and slightly to the side.
If your foot is too far away from the ball, you will have to strain to reach it, resulting in a loss of power and accuracy. Likewise, if your foot is too near, it will obstruct your striking foot’s path or you may not be able to kick the ball with the right force.
- Step 3: Kick the soccer ball to make a curve
Kick the ball with the outside of your foot as you sprint straight at it. The point on your foot just behind your smallest toe is the best choice for effectively striking the ball.
If you’re kicking with your right foot, try to hit the ball around the bottom left corner or even in the middle. With the right foot, your striking foot should swing freely and draw an arc that ends at the front of your left foot.
If you time the strike properly, you should strike the ball at the point when the striking foot reaches the apex of the arc. The ball should curve to the right if you execute it correctly.
The principle is the same if you are using the left foot—just that this time the action happens in the opposite direction.
Your leg should travel to the left and rise slightly in front of you if you’re using your right foot and have kicked the ball with the outside of it. Your left arm will naturally fall as a result, providing you with more balance.
- It is easier to use the outside of the foot than the inner foot
- The ball can be kicked with more velocity
- A deflection can easily be received with the outside foot
- It is often easy to predict the intended direction of the ball
- Perfecting outside of the foot curve takes a long time
How to curve a soccer ball in motion?
You will still employ some of the methods discussed for curving a stationary soccer ball for an in-motion kick if you’re already in the middle of a game.
Curving a stationary ball is not too difficult to master—but you may never get that many freekicks close to the opponent’s goal to allow you to try out your skill. Improving your delivery or shooting technique on a moving ball can be far more difficult.
Before attempting to curve a moving ball, practice on a stationary ball first. After you are very good at curving stationary balls then you can move on to curving moving balls.
The processes for curving a soccer ball in motion are outlined below.
Step 1: Examine Your Surroundings
Examine your surroundings to make sure you have adequate space to execute a well-aimed curved kick. Otherwise, try securing a more suitable location because the secret to adequately performing this technique is enough space.
You should not seek to curve a soccer ball in motion without the appropriate conditions since this can lead to easily losing control of the ball. It is also crucial to know when to bend balls in motion and when not to.
Step 2: Locate and select your target
Glance through the pitch in anticipation of where the ball will go and also where your teammates will likely be. Check to see whether your teammates are ready to receive the pass or will have to sprint to get it.
Calculate how much force and curve you should use in striking the moving ball. You can also use this technique to score goals if you gain a clear shot on the goal post.
Step 3: Strike the soccer ball while it is in motion
Focus your attention on the ball and concentrate on the strike as soon as you’ve decided where to place it.
When approaching the ball, slow down a little if feasible for the best result. Strike the ball with the combination of power and precision, as explained in the stationary kick steps.
Line up your kick if you have the opportunity to assist. Remember to keep your standing foot behind the ball.
- You will likely have more opportunities for in-motion curves than stationary curves in a game
- The ball can be kicked at any time and from any location
- Used to bend the ball beyond the goalie’s reach
- Takes a longer time to learn and perfect
- Easier to lose your balance while trying to execute
In soccer, curving a soccer ball necessitates the use of sidespin. When you spin the ball clockwise, it curves to the right, and when you spin it counter-clockwise, it curves to the left.
Curling a ball using the outside of your foot as well as the inside part of your foot can be done in motion or from a stationary position. Curving a soccer ball, like any other technique on the field, requires not just talent but also a lot of practice.
To begin practicing, use the steps provided above and set up cones with which you will use in practice. Begin by bending balls around the cones and into the net. Experiment with different angles and degrees of force while striking the ball.
Accuracy matters a lot while learning how to curve soccer balls. Therefore, dedicate most of your practice to refining your accuracy.
If you put in the required effort and time, you’ll soon be curving both stationery and mid-flight balls like a professional soccer player.
While curving the ball is a difficult skill to learn, any soccer player that has perfected this skill can create moments of magic that will push the team to victory.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!