Shooting & Football
May 13 2008 | Articles
In football, scoring a goal is what the sport is all about. The highlight of the game, scoring a goal is easily the most rewarding and most glamorous part of football.
If you want to be an excellent goal scorer, you must first have the ability to shoot the ball.
This may be obvious however.
Shooting requires two things – power and accuracy.
With the use of your foot’s instep, drive the ball forwards. While doing this, you must keep the ball low. Adding power to your kick can be accomplished by increasing your follow through. To do this, allow your kicking leg to swing quickly, making sure it extends fully at the end.
Goal keepers find it difficult to block balls that are low and/or aiming for the corners. So in order to score successfully, you must keep the ball low and at the same time, you should direct your shot towards the corners of the goal area.
However, if your shot misses the goal and ends up hitting the goal post, do not worry since your team mates can easily take advantage of the rebound.
You should put as much power into your shot without compromising your accuracy. No matter how much force you put on your kick, it will be useless if it the ball misses the goal. You will just end up sending the ball a great distance, making it difficult for you and your team mates to retrieve the ball.
Although mastering it may be difficult, volleying is a great skill to have as a footballer.
In the volley, the player needs to hit a ball that is still moving in midair. This makes it difficult for players to achieve an accurate shot.
As tricky as it may be, making a clean volley that can send the ball flying straight into the goal is one of the most rewarding moments in the sport.
To do a volley, you must immediately decide on when you want to intercept the ball. After this, you must quickly position yourself in the ball’s line of flight.
Imagine that a strike zone is right in front of you. Using this, you must assess where and when the ball is going to arrive. Remember to keep your head still. Also, improve your balance by using your arms.
Once you are ready, firmly place your non-kicking foot on the ground. With the knee leading, quickly swing your kicking leg. In your kicking leg, the toes must point downwards and ankles must be kept firm and solid.
Your non-kicking leg must always maintain contact with the ground. This will provide you with enough stability as you aim to make a solid connection with the ball.
However, you must keep careful control of your leg since kicking too quickly will make the volley difficult to manage.
In order to accomplish the volley, you must do several steps at once. You should make sure that your head is over the ball so that the strike will result in a low ball. At the same time, you must use your instep to strike either the centre or the upper half of the ball.
Finish the shot by following through to the direction of the target.
Using an overhead kick to score a goal is one of the most impressive moves in football.
It may be a little difficult but once you have mastered this skill, you will be able to make a shot. Using an overhead kick, you can make a shot even with your back turned to the goal.
Even when facing in the wrong direction, the overhead kick can effectively clear a ball.
To prevent any injuries to your back, you must practice this kick on soft ground. Also, refrain from excessive practice.
In this skill, timing is everything.
Begin the technique by positioning yourself on the ball’s line of flight. Keep your eyes focused on the ball.
Since the ball usually comes at a great speed and from tricky angles, a good connection is extremely important.
In a volley, you don’t need to exert too much force on the kick. As long as you execute a clean kick, your body’s motion will be able to produce the power you need.
Once you are ready to make the shot, jump up. Use your non-kicking foot to move your body upwards. However, you must leave your non-kicking foot on the deck.
While keeping your focus on the ball, allow your body to fall backwards.
As your body moves toward the ground, your kicking leg will eventually rise up. Even if your kicking leg was originally on the ground, it will eventually be made to rise.
When the ball is within prefect range, whip you’re kicking leg up, hitting the back of the ball. As you do this, immediately bring your non-kicking leg back down.
At this point of the technique, your body must be almost horizontal to the ground.
If your body is in the upright position, your hit will cause the ball to fly too high. You must also use the scissor-like movement of your legs to produce enough power.
To control the force of your landing, you must fall with outstretched hands. At the same time, twist your body sideways so that you can prevent yourself from landing flat on your back.
You can use your arms to soften your landing. However, you should be careful not to land on your elbows or your head.
Blast it or place it? Wait for the keeper to move? Or pick a spot and stick to it?
As soon as the referee points to a spot, a number of thoughts will immediately flood the player’s mind.
Although no one expects the keeper to save a ball in a penalty kick, doing so may make the goalkeeper seem like a hero. Consequently, the kicker will seem like a villain.
How then should a player execute the perfect penalty kick?
The Liverpool John Mores University conducted a research in which they found that there is at least one definitive solution.
“A well-placed ball, high to the corner, will not be stopped by the goalkeeper even if he anticipates it,” explained Professor Tom Riley.
According to Riley, a kick in the said area has a 100% success rate since the ball would be too fast for the goal keeper to save.
Riley also said that in anticipation of the goalie’s moves, some players attempt to drive the ball straight through the middle. However, this manoeuvre is not always effective.
As attractive as 100% strike rate may sound, the shot is very difficult to execute. As such, this technique may end up a risky move.
Despite its difficulty, this trick is an interesting alternative to conventional methods suggested by sports professionals as well as managers and trainers.
For most of the players, the conventional strategy is to aim for a low area, just inside either goal post. The penalty taker will target the inside of the side netting.
However, Riley argues that the use of this technique will increase the probability that the ball will be saved. Unless the kick is clean and powerful, the keeper may still catch the ball. This move is much easier to pull off, though.
MIND OVER MATTER
Even though it seems like running up and blasting the ball to make a successful penalty shot, there may be more planning involved in making the shot.
Psychologist Peter Nash agrees to this. He said that penalty takers usually say that although they do not think too much of the shot, they also aim to deceive the goal keeper.
“We do many things on two levels, such as thinking where to put the ball (or where to fake it), but not thinking about what the feet, legs and body will do to achieve it.” Nash explained.
He added that as a player practices, his actions may develop as automatic skills. So then, the body already has an unconscious memory which will tell his body how to react to certain situations.
“These memories take over when thinking fails, such as in front of 80,000 fans.”