shooting&passingShooting and Passing refers to the kicking technique used to propel the ball with your feet. Shooting is the action of trying to score a goal and is often related to a much stronger/faster movement of the ball to beat the goalkeeper. Passing is the action of moving the ball from yourself to a team mate. The strength and speed (we call weight) of the pass will be relevant to the distance you are away from your team mate. When kicking the ball, balance is the key and is the start to all control.

Lets start with shooting. Usually you talk about shooting the ball with the laces. This means with the top of the foot (where the laces of your shoe normally are.)

Keep your eye on the ball all the time.

You place your standing foot beside the ball, pointing in the direction you would like to kick the ball, with your knee slightly bent.

Your arms are put out to balance your body movement.

The kicking foot, knee bent and toes pointing down is brought through to strike the ball with “the laces”.

Keep your weight forward, follow through until your kicking leg ends up straight and step through off your standing leg for maximum power.

Now have a look at how Erik Edmanl does it in the video to the right. It is a great example of a good strike.

If you hit a ball as it is coming down out of the air, we call this a volley.

See how many Volley’s you can hit in this game.

Because a football player hit’s the ball as it is already moving in the air, it means you can get some incredible power in your shot. Have a look at the video below :

If the ball comes out of the air, bounces in front of you and you kick the ball while the ball is on it’s way back up, we call this kicking the ball on the half-volley.

Great players develop the ability to shoot the ball from any angle with any part of the foot, here Eduardo scores a great goal with the outside of his boot and here Paolo Di Canio does the same.

Sometimes you might see players curve a football when they shoot. Have a look at the video below to give yourself an idea of how to do this.

Roberto Carlos shows us how this is done using the same technique with the outside of the boot to curl around a wall from a free kick.

If you want to chip a ball or make a ball go up and down in an arc, you need to make contact with the bottom half of the ball.

Here are some examples:

Top 10 chip goals from world cup games

Lionel Messi chips a goal in against Mexico

Wayne Rooney chips David James from outside the box

The most used technique to move the ball is the instep-drive using the inside of the foot.

On the left is a good demonstration of the instep drive.

The key points to this are:

1) place your standing foot beside the ball, with the knee bent.

2) your kicking foot is turned out to use the instep to contact the ball.

3) toes are pointed up to lock the ankle, keeping it strong.

4) kick the ball and follow through keeping your weight over the ball.

Whether you use the inside of the foot, the outside or the laces to kick the ball, to make the ball go up you hit the bottom half of the ball. To keep the ball down or keep it low, you hit the top half of the ball or more importantly the centre.

Try this game and see if you can score the goals by kicking the correct part of the ball.

The Achilles or back heel is sometimes used to pass the ball in the opposite direction to that which you are facing.

Here you can Francesco Totti take a penalty using his heel

Thierry Henry scores a back heel goal

Here is a collection of back heel goals

Now you’ve learnt how to pass, you need to know how to receive the ball, which means that you need to CONTROL the ball.

Once you and your team mates have mastered all the different ways to pass a ball, long, short, chipped, low drives, then you can put it all together and start to play Total Football.

Football is a team game, the ball is precious to your team. Without it you can’t win, so you must keep it so that you can score yourselves and by doing so, you stop your opponents from scoring against you.

Once you are comfortable with passing AND controlling, then you will want to learn and develop simple attacking tactics.

Check out the passing in the video on the right and see where you should be aiming to achieve as an attacking passing team.

Before you leave this section there is one very unique pass that we must touch upon.

It is so unique, it is written in the rules as to the technique you must use. The throw in!

– you must take the throw with two hands
– the ball must come from behind your head
– the ball must be released over your head
– you must have both feet on the ground
– your feet must be on or behind the line of play

Here is Rory Delap with the most famous throw in the Premier league history.

Rory Delap has one of the longest throws in the Premiership here is bio-mechinical study of how to get your throw as long as his.

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