One of the greatest kick takers in the history of soccer is former Brazilian international, Roberto Carlos. A player so good that in his prime days could deliver powerful kicks traveling at 85.7 mph with excellent precision.
Powerful kicks will always have a place in soccer. As a midfielder or striker looking to score a free-kick or a goal outside the 18-yard box, knowing how to deliver a strong kick is always an advantage.
The same is needed by defenders looking to volley a shot further into the field. Yet, as important as this skill, several soccer players take it for granted.
The good thing is, like most skills, it can be learned and developed. The article gives a detailed guide on working on and improving a strong kick in soccer.
- How to have a stronger kick in soccer?
- Exercises to have a stronger kick in soccer
- Shooting technique to have a strong kick in soccer
- Step 1: Body’s composure
- Step 2: Body positioning
- Step 3: Approaching the ball
- Step 4: Position your support leg
- Step 5: Raise your striking foot
- Step 6: Focus on your foot technique
- Step 7: Look at the ball
- Step 8: Make contact with the ball
- Step 9: Achieve a perfect follow through
- Step 10: Regain control and balance of your body
- Practice makes perfect
How to have a stronger kick in soccer?
For some soccer players, it may seem they have a strong natural kick, but it’s often a series of choices (exercises and techniques) that build up over time. When it comes to sports, proficiency levels are only achieved when time and focus are placed on mastering a skill.
When it comes to improving the power of your kicks, there are three primary factors to consider. These are focusing on the right exercises, working on the shooting techniques, and endless practice sessions.
Exercises to have a stronger kick in soccer
As a professional soccer player, you’re subjected to a series of daily training and exercises to help build your muscles, stamina, and agility. In strengthening your kicks, an ideal targeted way to achieve this is by performing quad exercises.
What are quad exercises? These are exercises that help build and develop your quadriceps. Four main muscles are targeted when you perform quad exercises.
- The muscle that aids hip flexing. It runs from your hip bone to your knee.
- The muscle that aids knee extension. It sits in the front of your thigh.
- The largest muscle that runs from your kneecap to the thigh bone.
- The last is also located in the thigh and helps with knee stability.
If you picture a player attempting to make a powerful kick, you’ll realize the importance of these muscles. Minus the fact that it helps improve knee stability and ankle strengthening, it reduces the probability of knee injury after taking powerful shots.
Some of these targeted quad exercises include:
Bulgarian split squat
It specifically targets the hips, hamstrings, quads, and body core. You can start slowly by lowering your body halfway down instead of doing a full dip.
Single leg squats
It is a much more difficult exercise to perform for beginners. It’s best to warm up the muscles by engaging in other quad exercises before attempting this.
It’s a variant of the split squat but performed on a single leg. It also helps strengthen the inner thighs, glutes, body core, and quads.
Lateral and walking lunge
It focuses on the hamstrings, body core, glutes, quads, and inner thigh.
Single leg raise
Although this helps strengthen the hip flexors, core, and major thigh muscles, it can cause injury if performed when you’re tired. However, it is an excellent quad exercise.
Shooting technique to have a strong kick in soccer
Being able to deliver a strong kick begins from the preparation, up to the kick, and the follow-through. To get a better strong kick, here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Body’s composure
This is the make or break of any power kick in soccer. Since it’s not a known skill in the sport, many players take it for granted.
You have to relax your body. There’s very little you can achieve in a tense body state.
A player can step up for a power kick, only to end up with a mediocre shot or one that’s totally off the intended direction.
Take a deep breath and step up for the kick. A common trick used by professionals is to shake out the tension by shaking their limbs to relax the body.
Step 2: Body positioning
If the ball is stationary, like when taking a free-kick, align your body such that your dominant foot is in the path of the ball. For instance, if you are right-footed, move your body towards the left with your right leg (dominant leg) slightly sticking out.
If the ball is in motion, position your body in the same way that places the ball right in front of your dominant leg.
Step 3: Approaching the ball
The idea is to save up much of your energy for the kick. A good way to achieve this is by taking short strides as you approach the ball.
Longer strides will affect your body’s overall balance when it’s time to kick and also make you expend more energy.
Step 4: Position your support leg
Your support leg is your non-dominant foot. It’ll bear the entire weight of your body when you make the kick.
An improper foot plant can result in a weaker kick and loss of balance. As you approach the ball with short strides, place the support leg next to the ball (by the side, not behind or in front).
Placing your foot behind the ball can cause the ball to move in a high trajectory. However, placing it in front of the ball will only result in a weak kick.
Step 5: Raise your striking foot
Your striking foot is the same as your dominant foot. With your support foot firmly planted beside the ball and the knees pushed slightly forward, lift your striking foot backward until it forms a V shape with your thighs.
Do not lift too high above the knee level. This will allow you to quickly return the leg for the kick. On the other hand, if the raise is too high, you’ll need more energy to bring it down, causing a reduction in swing speed before ball contact.
A perfect swing generates more power. So, focus on delivering a speedy swing instead of a slow one.
Step 6: Focus on your foot technique
This has to go with the flex on your foot. This is where the benefits of quads exercises come to play. If you have weak ankles and toes, you’re going to have a weak shot.
Flex your ankle by pointing your toes towards the ground. The idea is to hit the ball with the area between the laces and toes.
Irrespective of the quad exercises performed, never attempt a powerful kick with your toes. You may end up with a broken toe.
With the planting of your support foot and your dominant foot raised for a swing, lean slightly over the ball. Never keep a straight body posture when going for the kick.
Step 7: Look at the ball
As you maintain your relaxed state, fix your eyes on the ball.
Fixing your eyes on the ball also helps you deliver a good ball trajectory. It’s best to strike the ball between its middle and bottom region.
Step 8: Make contact with the ball
Using the area between the cleat’s lace and toe knuckle, kick the ball as hard as you can.
Make a full return swing with your foot properly flexed, you’ll feel and see the ball begin to take flight.
Step 9: Achieve a perfect follow through
This is one of the most important steps in delivering a powerful shot with pristine accuracy.
As the ball begins to leave your foot, keep your toes still flexed and pointed forward. Then raise the foot to form a forward arc to control the ball’s direction and trajectory.
If you lift your foot too high, you’ll get a heavy shot with little direction and control.
Step 10: Regain control and balance of your body
At the end of your swing and follow-through, land on your striking foot (dominant foot). This helps balance the body’s weight away from the support leg.
With this stability, you can make a move or run towards the shot ball’s direction.
Practice makes perfect
Improving your mastery in taking stronger kicks can only be achieved with consistent practice. You can set aside a routine in your daily soccer training to improve your shot.
To improve the shot’s accuracy, you can start from a shorter distance towards the goal. Then, gradually increase the distance as your kicking power and accuracy increase.
Having a strong kick is a necessary skill in soccer. It allows you to attempt a goal from distances outside the 18-yard box.
Improving your shot power takes a combination of the right exercises, shooting techniques, and consistent practice.
The swing needed for such a kick involves the muscles of the legs, knees, hip area, and ankles. The best way to develop these areas is through quad exercises and regular practice.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. 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!