The ball moves in different directions during a soccer game. However, these movements are not random but premeditated and perfected over months or years by professional soccer players.
One of such tricks used often by soccer players is making the ball drop. Interestingly, this is one of the few skills in soccer that is useful regardless of your position.
Goalkeepers and defenders need this skill to initiate a counterattack while midfielders and forwards often use it to beat the goalie. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale seem to have mastered this skill and it has helped them to score mind-blowing goals.
When a perfect ball drop is executed, goalies can misjudge the ball as going over the bar. However, the last-minute drop will leave the goalies scampering to punch the ball off the net—but it is usually too late.
Have you been struggling to make the ball drop in soccer? This post will help you identify what you have been doing wrong and turn the tides in your favor.
How to make the ball drop in soccer?
The first thing you should know as an amateur soccer player is that you can replicate every skill you see professional soccer players do on match day. However, you have to bear in mind that it will not come on a platter.
Some of the skills will take you months or years to perfect. However, we believe making the ball drop is not one of the tedious skills. To perfect this skill, you have to get the following right;
- Run-up towards the ball
- How to position your planting foot
- The part of the feet used in kicking the ball
- Where you hit the ball
- Your follow-through
- Body posture
Adding this skill to your portfolio will definitely enhance your rise to fame in your soccer career. Without further chitchats, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on making the ball drop.
Step 1: Generate the power from your run-up
Dipping shots are best struck from outside the 18-yard box. Therefore, the power needed for this shot will come from your run-up.
If you want to make the ball drop from a stationary position (like when your team is awarded a freekick), you must take a few steps behind the ball. This gives you enough room for run-up so that you can generate enough power for the shot.
On the other hand, when you are in motion already, you should give the ball a good and calculated forward push. Then, take quick long strides before taking your shot.
This will help you to generate the right momentum that will be eventually transferred to the ball. Hitting the ball aggressively will help to generate the topspin that will make the ball drop.
Another important run-up tip that we will like to mention here is that when shooting from a stationary position, don’t run towards the ball straight-on or in a perpendicular manner. Instead, take a few steps to the left or the right.
We recommend running towards the ball from an angle of 30 to 45 degrees. This will make it easier for you to use the right part of the foot to kick the ball.
Step 2: Place your planting foot correctly
The difference between delivering a perfectly executed ball drop and stumbling to the ground lies in how you place your planting foot. Ideally, your planting foot should just be beside the ball—and every soccer player should know this already.
When you are shooting from a stationary position, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, when you are shooting while on the run, it is important to place your planting foot slightly ahead of the ball—and the reason is simple.
When the planting foot is just beside the ball, by the time the striking foot swings forward, the ball should have rolled away and you risk missing your kick.
On the other hand, when the planting foot is slightly ahead of the ball, by the time your striking foot swings forward, the ball should have rolled to the right spot just beside the planting foot.
Step 3: Hit the ball with the area just above the big toe
The area of the foot that makes contact with the ball will determine the trajectory of the ball. When you want to make the ball drop, the best part of the foot to use is the area just above the big toe.
The next thing that you want to pay attention to is the part of the ball that you strike. If your feet strike any part of the ball, it produces an opposite effect.
For example, if your feet strike the left side of the ball, it will move in the right direction and vice versa. To make the ball drop, the best part to strike is the bottom of the ball.
Step 4: Follow through with your shot to deliver the right effect
If your effort ends with kicking the ball, you will likely not get the effect that you desire. To get that topspin that is desired for a drop ball, upon striking that ball, quickly snap your feet upward.
Once the ball has left your foot, stop the follow-through as quickly as possible. In the long aerial pass, your foot goes up in the front after striking the ball by almost half the height it went behind before striking the ball.
Step 5: Get your body posture right
Although you mostly kick the ball with your feet in soccer, other parts of your body still have a role to play. For example, the way you position your upper body while striking a ball will determine your balance.
When you want to make the ball drop in soccer, it is always important to crouch over the ball during the strike. If you lean too backward during your strike you may slip and fall or hit the ball too low causing it to go skywards.
Don’t be discouraged when you try but fail to make the ball drop. Professional soccer players don’t get it right all the time too.
Learning a new skill in soccer mostly starts with imitation. In other words, it is always good to watch tons of videos of soccer players performing the skill that you desire to learn.
Also, watching different soccer players perform a particular skill will fill you with the confidence that you can also pull it off. However, strive to take that motivation further by practicing the skill on the pitch.
You can watch a thousand videos on how to make the ball drop in soccer, but if you don’t go out there to give it a try, you will never be good at it.
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!