For almost every soccer move, you will need your ankles intact so they make their impacts more effective. Unfortunately, only professional soccer players know how to do this the right way and have perfected the act of locking their ankles when playing.
If you’re learning how to play, you need to know that locking your ankle is vital in playing soccer. Once you know that, you can move on to learning how to lock your ankle in soccer. But first, what does it mean to lock your ankle in soccer?
You may have been wondering since the first time you heard the phrase or opened this article what that is all about.
Not to worry, we’ll explain better and in simple terms in the article. Next, why is it important? So, to answer another lingering question in your mind, yes, we’ll discuss methods to try to help you lock your ankles.
Let’s get into them in detail.
- What Does It Mean To Lock Your Ankle In Soccer?
- How To Lock Your Ankle In Soccer?
- Do You Lock The Ankle When Passing The Soccer Ball?
What Does It Mean To Lock Your Ankle In Soccer?
So, we’ll begin with what it means to lock your ankle in soccer. Locking your ankle means stiffening the ankle area, so it doesn’t waver while you kick the ball – you freeze your ankle so it doesn’t budge.
Locking your ankle gives more power and strength when trying to hit the soccer ball. Imagine clenching your fist to hit something with high impact; that’s how locking works. When you lock your ankle, it will be immovable or inflexible.
Sometimes, doing it without help may not be easy, you may need help from someone around you, your coach, guardian, or parent maybe. When you clench your ankle, the other person will try to flex them for you.
Since you’re just trying it, you may not be perfect, so you need to practice some more before getting it right. If locking your ankles and playing soccer seems impossible, you can try perfecting your ankle lock game before proceeding to practice with a soccer ball.
Do you need to lock your ankles when playing soccer? Yes, you do need to lock your ankle when playing soccer. Why?
Read more: How to Beat Man Marking in Soccer?
Why you should lock your ankles in soccer?
Now that you know what locking your ankles in soccer refers to, why should you do it?
Increases kicking power
Honestly, locking your ankle ensures that your kicks make more impact, and you can direct them to where you need them to go. For you to successfully kick a soccer ball, you’d need your ankles to be a bit rigid.
If they’re too flexible, it makes your moves sloppy. For instance, you could kick a soccer ball, and it won’t go as hard as you want or in the direction you want. You’ll probably get frustrated when your opponent keeps kicking the ball from your reach or easily catches your kicks.
However, if your moves are good and effective, you’ll enjoy playing soccer more and would want to get better at it.
It protects the ankles
Unlike what you might think, locking your ankle when playing soccer helps to protect it. For example, you could sprain your ankle if you play soccer without locking your ankles when kicking the ball.
Soccer balls aren’t exactly soft since they have thick layers that make them suitable for serious kicking. However, if you don’t prepare your feet to kick the ball, you could end up with an injury.
So, if you want to consistently kick the ball for more quality impact and protect your ankle or feet from injury, you need to know how to lock your ankle in soccer.
Since locking ankles is so important in playing a soccer game, how do you do that?
How To Lock Your Ankle In Soccer?
You can do that in a couple of ways. First, you need your mind to work together with your ankles to get the result you want.
The first step to perfecting the act of locking ankles in soccer is to remind yourself to do so. You need your mental power to work with your physical strength so that it works out.
Plus, you need to constantly remind yourself to lock your ankles when playing to give you more quality kicks and protect your feet. If you don’t have it in mind, you’ll keep missing it, and you may not get better at locking your ankles.
However, while trying to remind yourself, you shouldn’t distract yourself from the soccer game itself. Don’t get too carried away thinking that you miss some quality moves.
What are the ways to lock your ankles?
Keep your toes down
One of the ways to lock your ankle and kick a soccer ball the right way is to keep your toes facing downwards. You need to squeeze the muscle around your ankle area when doing this.
Flex your toes downward such that it feels like you’re trying to bend them to your calf. Plus, stretch your legs till they’re facing down. As a beginner, you would need help testing this out. So, get your parents or coach around you when trying this.
While you’re stretching your toes downward, they will try to pull them to face upward, but you keep pointing them downward.
If you’re practicing alone, you can try to swing your feet in a kicking move while you lock your ankles downward. Try kicking about ten times without bulging your toes.
Balance the other feet on the ground when doing this. And if you feel yourself losing your balance, you can hold on to a wall for support while you practice locking your ankles.
Repeat that three times and switch to the other ankle, so both ankles are perfect at taking quality ball shots. You’ll need to flex your ankle joints and foot to get this right. However, this method helps to make your dribble, shoot, or pass more effective.
You can try this technique when someone passes the ball to you. So, you lock your ankle with your toes facing down and strike the ball as it reaches your position. Rather than kick the ball with your toes, you kick the ball with the top of your foot, that is, the area the shoelace covers.
- Protect your ankles and feet
This method will help you get better at stiffening your ankles, and as a result, protect your ankles and feet when you play. This is because loose ankle kicks could hurt your feet.
And we’re pretty sure you want to get better at soccer and not have to take a break for an injury to heal. So, the practice reduces the chances of that happening.
- Make your moves less sloppy
This method helps improve your soccer moves. You get to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball better. Locking your ankle strengthens your ankle for better kicks. Since the position is rigid, you can successfully shoot a goal into the goalpost.
- Takes time
Getting better at locking ankles with this method will take quite some time. You will have to try and keep trying till you’re good at it.
- You may need to practice with someone
Sometimes, you may need to practice with someone for this method to be effective. It could be harder trying to get better on your own since you have to flex your ankle, and you may not be able to lock them simultaneously.
Keep your toes up
The other way you can practice locking your ankles is by keeping your toes up. To do this, you need to freeze your ankle joint and the muscles in that area.
While this may help kick the ball harder, it’s majorly strengthening your ankle to kick the ball more meaningfully. So then, just like you tried the first method with someone, you can test how well you clench your ankles the same way.
So, you need someone to try pulling your toes down when you tighten your muscles. You could also try this by yourself while supporting your weight with the wall. When you lock your ankles, try to move your feet in a passing movement like ten times. Then, keep trying till you are good at it.
For each practice session you have, try that on one ankle three times, switch to the other ankle, and repeat the same. If you keep doing that, you’ll get better at it sooner than you thought.
With this technique, you kick the ball with the sole of your feet so it can go in the direction you want. So, balance the other feet you don’t play with for better accuracy.
When you kick with the sole of your feet, the shot will be powerful. Plus, locking ankles will ensure that your foot makes an even contact with the ball giving it a strong force. You can try this technique for inside shots, passing, when you want to score a goal, etc.
- It helps you master locking your ankles
Trying this method helps you get better at locking your ankles when playing soccer, and eventually, the game as well. If you can lock your ankle perfectly, they’ll have enough strength to kick the ball. So, the more you practice this method, the better you get at it.
- Improves your skill as a player
Trying this method to improve locking your ankles helps you get better at soccer. You get to kick the balls more intentionally and effectively in the direction you want. In addition, you get better at other soccer moves, causing an improvement.
- It requires a lot of practice
For you to be good with this method, you’d have to try more than once. You don’t just get better overnight; you need to put in a lot of work and dedication.
Do You Lock The Ankle When Passing The Soccer Ball?
Yes, you do lock the ankle when passing the soccer ball. If you’ve been following through, you will realize that you need to lock your ankle for most soccer moves, including passing the ball.
Passing the ball is a significant move in soccer. You need to get the ball to your other team members so they can either return it to you or score a goal. If you miss a pass or keep doing that, you reduce your team’s chance of winning.
So, you need to improve your passing move by mastering locking your ankles. You may be skillful or can be great at soccer; however, if you lack technique, you may not get what you want.
And one technique to successfully pass the soccer ball in the direction you need it to go is to lock your ankles. When your technique is intact, you can kick the ball where you want, and it’ll go there if there’s no restriction.
So, you need to take some time to master locking your ankles to make the best passes. You can practice by yourself or get your coach, friend, or guardian to help you. Plus, you can try using either of the methods that we listed above.
When do you need to lock your ankles when playing soccer?
Honestly, you don’t need to lock your ankles all the time you’re on the field. You need to select specific moments when you lock your ankles, so you don’t tire your ankles out.
For instance, you don’t need to lock your ankles when the ball isn’t with you or when running. A more appropriate time to lock your ankles is when the soccer ball is with you.
As an example, you would need to lock your ankles to dribble past your opponents, pass the ball to your teammates, fire a shot, or even score a goal. You need to lock your ankle for quality control so you can send the ball in the direction you want it to go.
Additionally, you’d need to lock your ankles when the ball is coming in your direction. You need to control the ball before deciding what to do next, whether to pass it, dribble or score a goal.
Your soccer moves are vital if you want to enjoy playing the game and ultimately win. And one of the techniques that could make you enjoy soccer, get better, and win, is locking your ankles.
This helps you to hit the soccer ball with more impact and make the moves more effective. Another way locking ankles help your soccer game is that it protects your ankles and feet from injury.
We discussed what locking ankles means in this article, so if you’ve been confused about it for a while, we hope this write-up helped. Also, we talked about how your mind is important in ensuring that you lock your ankles appropriately.
Furthermore, we mentioned when you need to lock your ankles and the different ways to do that perfectly. You can only get better and be more skillful by mastering how to lock your ankle in soccer.
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!