How to Kick a Soccer Ball - Getting Rid of the Toe Kick

By: Coach V

How many times have you heard it yelled from the sidelines? "Kick with you laces, not your toe!"

Well it really isn't the fault of the player if you understand the evolution of the soccer kick. The problem is that most parents and many coaches don't realize this is impossible to change without a "process". When we created www.BlastTheBall.com we studied this problem in our research which lasted over two years. This one came pretty quickly. Video taping the player makes it easy to understand.

A child doesn't change anything about their natural walking or running stride when they first start to kick a soccer ball. It is almost like the soccer ball just happens to get in the way of their natural stride. As we walk or run as humans our toe naturally points forward as it moves forward. Keeping the toe down would cause us to walk or run looking like a Clydesdale horse. Also, when we bring our leg forward there is VERY little clearance between the bottom of the foot and the ground. Pointing the toe down will cause it to hit the ground, often causing serious injury.

Many coaches and parents make the big mistake of taking a child straight to the form of a traditional straight kick at full force. Every time this is done the child "stubs" their toe and strains the top of their foot. This thought remains in the child's mind and they remember that kicking this way hurts. Not a good thought process.

A child should first learn to kick with an angle kick.

An angle kick allows the toe to be pointed slightly outward and away from our body. Doing this reduces the need for so much "clearance". This kick motion starts with the leg behind our torso. Then the leg swings slightly outward and finishes by coming back around the front of our body.

Also, the child must realize that in order to create clearance, they must "shorten the length of their leg". Not easy for an 8 year to understand. However, as shown in Blast The Ball, there are two simple methods to help.

1)Learn the V swing. The V swing is performed by all advanced players in all their kicks. They just don't realize it. Keeping the knee slightly bent as it swings through, "shortens the leg".

2)Also, raising the up slightly by lifting at the hip will give good clearance. Leaving the shooting foot flat on the ground, we want the player to point their toe to the ground. However, they must accomplish this by raising their HIP not the leg or knee.

Trying to picture this training in writing is difficult. However, once you see it in action you'll be amazed at how something so simple can change a soccer player for life.

One of the key points of Blast The Ball is to not let the player start in full motion. They must feel this motion through slow motion exaggerated kicks. This also prevents injuries as well. You can learn more at www.BlastTheBall.com

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