The sidefoot  is used for short passes and is generally  the most  precise and accurate  way to kick the ball. This  is  because  the foot makes contact with a large part of the ball's surface area.As with all passing, kicking, and shooting in soccer it is vital to watch the ball at all times. Position your nonkicking  foot 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm ) to the side of the ball  ( it should be facing the direction in which the ball is to be passed) and, with only a short backswing, bring your kicking leg forward at a right angle to the nonkicking  leg and kick the ball with the inside of your foot. At the moment  that  the  ball  is  kicked, lean  forward  over  it, watching the ball at all times, and follow through with your kicking leg in the direction of the target.


         The  drive  is  used to get power into the kick, although  it  is harder to  be as accurate  with  it  as  with  the  sidefoot. Your  nonkicking  foot   should  be  placed alongside  the ball, 6 to 8 inches  (15 to 20 cm.)  away. Keep your kicking leg  facing straight  at  the target and, using a full backswing  and  keeping  your  head,  upper body, and  knee  over the ball, strike  it  using  the  instep  ( where the laces of  the shoe are ). Your foot should be extended so that its middle makes contact with the middle of the ball -  if the ball is hit at the bottom, it will go into the air ; if it is hit too near  the  top, the force of the kicking will be lost into the ground. It  is also crucial to keep your  ankle  rigid as the ball is struck, allowing  the  power from your leg to transfer directly to the ball


        This is the skill of being able to instantly stop and control a ball that has  been passed along the ground. This is a crucial  skill  because  the  quicker  you can get the ball  under  control  the  more  time  you  will  have  to decide what to do with it before opponents put you under pressure.
         Directly  face the oncoming ball, so that the ball comes onto the inside  of the foot (making contact with the maximum surface area to kill the ball's speed). Watch it  all the way onto your foot, and at the moment of impact bring your foot  backward   in   the  direction  the ball is  going  -  this will cushion the impact. If the foot is kept straight and the ball is simply allowed to hit it, it will bounce off and away from  you.
The purpose of trapping is to stop the ball dead  at your feet, putting  you instantly in control. The harder the ball is traveling at you the further back you should bring  your  foot  and  the  faster  you  should  move  it.  Remember  to  stay  relaxed  and confident, bending your knees and  leaning  over  the ball. You can also trap and control  the  ball  with  the   outside  of  your  foot,  this  way   you  can trap and move in  one   movement.


Sometimes  the  ball  will not  be  passed  conveniently  along the ground, so you
should be able to control it when  it  is  delivered in the air, either  directly or after bouncing. The  same  basic  rules  in skill  trapping the ball   apply,  but   obviously the kicking  foot  needs to be lifted off the ground to meet the ball. This means  that it  is  especially  crucial  to  determine  the flight path of the ball and get into position early, so   that   when   the   kicking   foot   is   raised   you  are  well   balanced and concentrating only on the ball. Watch the ball all the way onto the side of your foot, and, as  it  meets  it, cushion  the  ball  as before with your lower leg but keep your upper leg firm and solid. This  will  give  you the strength to stop the ball and keep you balanced so that, as the ball drops at your feet, you  have  it under control and are  poised  to  play  it.
© 2005-2008. Barrie Spirit Soccer
Ball  Work  Basics