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Biomechanics of a Soccer Kick

Soccer or football is a world-recognized sport. Here, in our community of Vaughan, it is very popular since there are many club leagues. Vaughan is also home to the Ontario Soccer Centre.

In this blog I break down the “soccer kick” into components (using the right foot to strike the ball) much like how I broke down the “swim stroke” into steps two blogs ago. The guide will outline the kick as if it were a right-footed kicker

  1. The lead up: the first step in a soccer kick involves the kicker leading up to the ball even before the ball is touched. The momentum as you approach the ball will help power the kick. As you reach the ball the left shoulder and arm will extend back and the left leg will be planted into the ground right next to the ball. Your torso will begin to lean to the left as well.
  2. The strike: As your movement continues your right (striking) foot will lift from the ground and begin its approach towards the ball. While your torso is leaning left and rotating right your arms and hips are doing same. This rotation is also what powers the strike. The striking foot approaches the ball by using your hip flexors and quadriceps. Your core (abdominals) is tightening as well to keep the hip aligned so your hip flexors and quads can work.
  3. Ball contact: as your striking foot approaches to contact the ball your core does most of the work to bend your torso slightly forward and “close-in” on the ball. Contact is made with either the top, inside, or outside of the foot based on the preference of the bell curve. Contact ON the ball will determine where the ball will go – ball direction is always opposite ball contact.
  4. The follow through: Your right foot continues its trajectory through the ball in the desired direction. Where the ball is contacted and what part of the foot is used to contact the ball are important as your follow through will vary. In any case, follow your initial trajectory “through” the ball. Your torso should continue forward and rotate towards the right side and your left shoulder should continue its movement and “close in” towards the striking side and slightly downwards. Essentially, in the follow-through phase, your upper body turns towards your striking leg as your striking leg moves forward and up towards your upper body.

This article serves as information on biomechanics as well as instruction for how to kick a soccer ball. Try these instructions to help train yourself or others and let me know what you think!

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Photo credit: Sportsnet | Twitter https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/901938377196437509