Driving a soccer ball dead straight or, “On a rope” is one of the skills many of our players have never really mastered. That is, partly, because our coaches have not taken the time to make sure they are striking the ball correctly from a young age.
It is amazing how many of our players cannot drive a ball straight. There are numerous reasons for this but one of them is that the plant foot lands too close to the ball and a right footed player ends up kicking the ball through the right side of the ball. This makes the ball hook.
For a right footed player to make the ball go straight the ball must be struck slightly left of center with the foot pronated down and contact is made with the knuckle of the big toe. Good body position from a player below.
Right footed player
- Ball out of feet. The player must have the ball a yard or two outside of their feet so they can get a run up prior to striking it. Ball must also be perpendicular to the player.
- Approach from an angle – not straight on.
- Last step is a long “hop”.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY - plant foot must land slightly behind the ball with enough space for the right foot to contact the ball slightly left of center.
- Toe must be pronated downward throughout the whole kicking action.
- Kick ball right footed the left hand points at target.
- Ball is struck left of center.
- Follow through is toward target.
Important to practice correctly on a regular basis. I would, sometimes, challenge players to hit the cross bar from the top of the penalty box before they can leave training.