What if I told you that young players find it really hard to kick a soccer ball using a straight leg? In coaching soccer drills, this is the trickiest part as far as the players and the coaches are concerned. The player keeps overall balance and the leg to be used to kick the ball is bent at the knee. Both poise and power to kick the ball comes from below the knee.
This is the preliminary position in soccer practice for almost all kinds of kicks. The speeding up of the foot from below the knee generates a great impact on the ball. This provides the players with a lot of power to act upon a range of kicks. However, what type of a kick would it be is determined by the precise contact of the foot on the ball.
For example; it could be knocked very high, driven low, turn left, or sway to the right.
In soccer, the three critical passes are the instep drive, a side foot pass, and the outside of the foot pass. Let’s discuss them further.
The side foot pass: In teaching soccer, this pass is considered as the most extensively used and the simplest. This is usually employed to make short distance passes. Although this pass is slightly slow and almost predictable, it’s very simple to teach the kids and perform accurately. The contact with the ball is made on the inside of the ankle and the foot with the foot turned outwards.
In coaching soccer drills, the players should be trained to keep their bodies relaxed all through the action. This is by far the most critical rule applicable to all types of kicking actions. The ankle and the foot need to be stiffened only at the time when the players is about to get in contact with the ball.
Subsequently, as players are convinced of their ability to perform it, the action should come out smooth, natural, and relaxed.
Outside of the foot pass: Since this pass can never be predicted, is pretty accurate and quick, players must be trained on this even though it’s a little tough to master. The ball gets in touch between the outside edge of the foot and the laces with the foot extended and turned inwards. With the help of the foot, the pass is modified into a quick flick for short distances.
During all these coaching drills, the body posture should be relaxed.
The Instep Drive: Both the versions of instep drive i.e. the low driven version and the lofted version are brought into play to pass the ball over longer distances. After the players have learnt it, variations can be brought in to make a “chip pass” or an “in swinging pass”. As the approach of the instep drive is slightly angled and the non kicking foot is placed about 12 inches to the side of and behind the ball.
The contact with the ball is made between the laces and the inside of the foot and it should be stiff and extended.
So now coach your kids the various techniques of kicking the ball and with variations to let them do different things with the ball.
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Andre Botelho is a recognized authority in youth soccer coaching and has already helped thousands of youth coaches to dramatically improve their coaching skills. Learn how to explode your players’ skills and make training fun by downloading your free ebook at: Soccer Training Drills.