In soccer, goalkeepers use a drop kick to send the ball downfield away from their goal area. It can be used in combination as an offensive and defensive play by the goalie.
Defensively, by clearing out any potential attacking threat and offensively by providing goal-scoring opportunities for his strikers upfront.
To perform a drop kick, the goalkeeper has to drop the ball with one or both hands and kick it with his dominant foot. You can kick the ball before or after it makes contact with the ground.
To successfully perform the drop kick, the goalie’s posture and balance play an essential role at the point of making the kick.
This article looks at the two possible methods for performing a drop kick and its advantages and disadvantages.
- How to do a drop kick in soccer?
- Ground bounce off before drop kicking
- Step 1: Keep the ball at waist level
- Step 2: Begin by taking your first step with your kicking foot
- Step 3: Place the other foot firmly on the ground
- Step 4: Slightly rotate your hip to prepare your kicking leg
- Step 5: Let the ball drop towards the ground
- Step 6: Send the ball into the air
- Step 7: Regain your balance
- Drop kicking without ground bounce off
- Ground bounce off before drop kicking
How to do a drop kick in soccer?
The drop kick is a half-volley strike that goalkeepers frequently use during clearance or distribution. It is generally accomplished by dropping the ball from the hands and making contact with his foot. This contact is made upon the short rebound from the ground.
The leg swing determines the speed and height of the soccer ball. It is also reflective in the area in which the ball is kicked.
For example, a kick around the mid to upper section of the ball results in a drop kick that flies low. Conversely, when kicked in the lower area or below the ball, it strengthens the height of the flying ball.
The methods for performing a drop kick in soccer are detailed below.
Ground bounce off before drop kicking
This drop kick is typically done when the ball is needed near the center of the field. This soccer kick results in a high ball off the ground; helping to clear the defensive lines while also ensuring that the game is quickly taken to the opposition.
Since the drop kick requires you to stretch your kicking leg high, goalies also engage in leg stretching exercises during training sessions to avoid the possibility of a hamstring injury.
The detailed steps for performing a drop kick by striking the lower section of the ball are as follows.
Step 1: Keep the ball at waist level
As a goalkeeper, the first thing you should do after making a save is to pick the ball and hold it in front of you at waist level. Next, pick the ball with both hands and gently place it around your waist to achieve this.
With a comfortable grasp of the ball, you can decide to let the ball settle on the fingers of your left hand (if you’re a right-footer).
Note: The rule of thumb for an effective drop kick is to hold the ball with the opposite hand of your dominant foot. In other words, if you’re a right-footer, the ball should be held and dropped from the left hand. If you’re a left-footer, the ball should be held and dropped from the right hand.
This gives the body better leverage to assume a posture for an effective drop kick.
Step 2: Begin by taking your first step with your kicking foot
Drop kicks make extensive use of your leading foot. This foot could be either the right or left, but make sure it is the one you are most comfortable with and use the most to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Take a step with the foot that will eventually be used to make the kick. Some players take several steps before moving on, but you should be ok with just one.
Step 3: Place the other foot firmly on the ground
Get the other leg firmly planted in the ground to serve as a pivot for your body. This should come right after you have completed the previous step’s lead stride. You will notice your potential to launch the ball into the pitch after doing so quickly.
However, keep in mind that you will be striking the lower portion of the ball, so make sure your kicking leg is positioned correctly. Essentially, both steps (dominant foot and support foot) should prepare you for the strike with a drop kick.
Bear in mind that while all of these are happening, you are still holding the ball with your hand.
Step 4: Slightly rotate your hip to prepare your kicking leg
The best posture for a drop kick is to slightly rotate the hip while raising the kicking foot for a strike. At this point, your kicking foot is somewhat perpendicular to the ground while you initiate the next step simultaneously.
Step 5: Let the ball drop towards the ground
This method leverages the little bounce off the ball made with the ground to increase the velocity and height of the volleyed ball.
It is important to note that steps 3, 4, and 5 happen in tandem and almost simultaneously.
Since a ground bounce-off is necessary for this method, ensure you do not drop the ball too close or far away from your kicking foot. Preferably, irrespective of the player’s height, the ball should be dropped at a distance of 1.5 feet at least from the body.
Step 6: Send the ball into the air
Make contact with the ball with your kicking foot just after the ball bounces off the ground. Then, using the top of your soccer cleat, and with your toes pointing forward, strike the ball in the lower section as hard as your foot can hit. The ball will travel in a high trajectory into the field.
While this gets the ball away from the goal area, you also do not want the opposing players to get the ball, so direct it to where your players have a good chance of picking it up. Send it into an open area where your players can run into it if possible.
You can perform a drop kick with the foot swung in a circular motion, but getting it straight up and down the pitch is preferable.
Step 7: Regain your balance
With the swing made with your kicking foot, your body almost makes a circular half turn. Regain your balance by placing your kicking foot firmly on the ground again.
With the help of your other foot acting as a pivot, your body should easily return to its proper standing posture.
Drop kicking, which involves striking the lower section of the ball, ensures that the ball gains height. This is enough to stop the opposing players’ flurry of attacking moves.
Although drop kicks help clear the goal area, losing possession to the opposition is easy if not adequately controlled.
Drop kicking without ground bounce off
This is the most common technique goalkeepers use to ensure the ball gets to the other side of the pitch as efficiently as possible. It is employed for quick counterattack play. It is a great attacking move similar to the previous technique, but with one major exception.
Like the previous method, this can also cause hamstring injury if not properly taken. The following step-by-step instructions show how to perform a drop kick without letting the ball touch the ground.
Step 1: Maintain a proper body balance
Since the drop kick usually happens quickly and fast, to avoid tripping or miscalculating the timing of the shot, maintain a proper body balance with the ground.
Step 2: Hold the ball at waist level
Depending on the player’s height, hold the ball with one hand at a height convenient enough to perfectly make a kick.
It is best to hold the ball about 1.5 feet away from your body to allow for a better kick.
Step 3: Plant the other leg
Just like in the previous method, the other leg (other than your striking foot) would act as a pivot for your body to maintain balance.
The ball should be firm on the hand while performing these moves. There should also be no loss of balance when planting this second foot. If the foot is grounded correctly, the body’s flexibility to swing the lead leg is perceptible.
Step 4: Drop the ball
The next step is to get the ball down so you can kick it. This should be done right after planting the other leg.
You should monitor the timing of the ball drop to ensure that it also corresponds with when the ball is about to be kicked. Remember to keep and drop the ball about 1.5 feet away from your body to allow for a better leg swing.
Step 5: Shoot the ball
The differentiating factor between this method and the previous is found in this step.
Without allowing the ball to touch the ground, kick it as hard as humanly possible to clear it away from the goal area.
Drop kicks without letting the ball hit the ground is a faster way to clear the defensive area and initiate a counter-attack.
Soccer teams can execute fast and easy counter-attacks thanks to precise drop kicks. If used correctly, most notably by the goalkeeper, it can be a reliable offensive weapon that can help safeguard the goal area.
Typically, before the opposition has time to recover after an attack, the ball is dropped and kicked to their side of the field, taking advantage of their defense’s disorganization.
As previously stated, this valuable technique is simple to execute and even simpler to learn. However, mistakes can be costly if not used correctly, but this is true of any other soccer goalie technique.
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!