How To Kick A Ball Kicks)

How To Kick A Ball
Key Points: Ground Kicks (Some also apply for Punt
Place the ball to expose the “sweet spot” e.g. The ‘O’ of O’Neills
Before moving back stand over the ball in the kicking position –
kicking foot over the ball and support off to side
Move back to a comfortable position and the sideways to a
position that suits you
Relax – Deep breath i.e. in through the nose, fill the belly and
let out gently through slightly closed lips
Concentrate on the “sweet spot”.
6. Focus – use key words e.g. relax, ‘kick the line’, 12 o’clock, ‘the middle of
the middle’, ‘Don’t break the glass’, ‘Kick the J and not the C (for left
footed kickers, inverted C for right footed kickers) etc.
7. Focus on a Spot - Use imagery to picture the complete kick i.e. a rope
from a central point behind the goals all the way down to the ball.
Focus eyes on this line a few times and then your kick for this spot
behind the goals. ‘Run’ your eyes from this spot to ball and back again.
For Punt Kicks:
8. Approach by running in an arc to the ball while keeping eye on the
‘sweet spot’
9. Turn non-kicking shoulder side-on to target i.e. move from shoulder to
chest facing the target to help achieve more power
10. Place non-kicking foot in line with target.
11. Swing through strike zone with a ‘fast leg’ and a ‘hard’ foot i.e. keep
bottom of foot pushed against bottom of boot.
12. Bring your foot back as far as possible to help generate enough
speed on swing.
13. Keep head over ball but keeping the imagine of the line you hope to
kick ball along i.e. kick to the picture in your head
14. Don’t let same arm as kicking foot come across mid line of body and
move other arm to side of body to help balance
15. Make contact with top of instep and keep contact with the ball as
long as possible
16. Rise onto the toes of the non-kicking foot.
17. Follow straight through keeping ‘hard’ foot in line with target i.e.
imaginary spot behind the goals
Kicking For Beginners
Keep the ‘Hard Foot’ for
as long as possible
Keep your head
down after kicking
by counting ‘1 2’
Kick with a ‘Hard
 Look at the target you hope to punt at
 Watch the ball all the way down onto
the boot
 Keep your head down well after the ball
has left the boot
Tip: Count ‘1-2’ with your head down
after the ball leaves your foot
Count ‘1-2’ with your
head down after the
ball leaves your foot
Stationary while facing target:
 Let beginners use 2 Hands to roll the ball down
unto the foot (Off The Shelf) then …
 Let the ball down onto the boot without spinning,
as near as possible with the same hand as the
kicking foot
 Do not let this hand swing across your body after
the kick
 Move your other hand out to the side to help you
balance as you kick
 Stance – Initially face target i.e. chest faces
towards target then …
 Start with shoulder towards target and as you
punt move your chest to face the target
 Now attempt above with a few strides before
attempting moving from shoulder to chest as you
Let the ball roll off
your hands
Notice hand on non
kicking side moving
to the side for better
 With beginners get them to stand one foot in front of the other with
the ‘kicking foot’ behind
 Use a fast leg i.e. bring your foot right up to your bottom for a
bigger range of movement and then drive it down as fast as
possible to meet the ball with a hard foot (Toe pointing downwards)
and the Top Off the Laces (where foot bone meets ankle bone)
to strike the ball
 Plant your non kicking foot directly at the target
Hard Foot
 Follow through towards the target keeping the ‘Hard Foot’ in contact with the ball as long as
possible i.e. ‘Let It Hang’
 Do not let your leg swing across the mid point of your body. Imagine there is a pane of glass
between your legs i.e. ‘Don’t brake the glass’
 Kick the J & not the C i.e. aim as if you were following the letter J and not the C i.e. left footed
kickers finish up by making the letter C instead of the J
 Keep your balance through out the whole kicking action
PUNT KICK - Practice
Wall Target
1’s Using a wall is the best place to practice your kicking skills.
Mark targets to aim at and keep your record.
Or use poles, cones or markers to aim at or through with a partner.
Stage One Of Passing
Passer and receiver are both stationary- emphasise the key coaching points.
2’s, Standing 5/6m from each other practice the key points above focusing on key body parts e.g. the head, hands or
the feet.
Start with the head and ask them to try and punt the ball with the head up and then with the head down.
They must count ‘One, Two’ before they are allowed to lift the head. This helps to reinforce the importance of keeping
the head down.
Move back 10m and emphasise the hand let down i.e. two hands, especially with beginners, same hand as the same
foot and finally opposite hand to kicking foot.
Ask the players which they find the easiest and the one they have most accuracy with.
Move back 20m and work on the feet.
Let them experience using different parts of the foot to strike the ball i.e. outside to swerve, inside to hook and the front
for straight line punting.
Show them how to impart top spin and back spin by kicking up and down the ‘sweet spot’ on the ball i.e. the ‘O’ of the
O’Neill’s or some other mark on the ball.
: Pass and Move
Here the passer travels with the ball before passing
2’s: Player A solos 3/4 times before punting to Player B who remains stationary about 20m
away. Emphasise – Head, Hands and Feet
Player A should move from shoulder to finish with the chest towards Player B. This allows
for a greater leg movement through the ball on contact and therefore more power.
Try and let your foot ‘hang’ i.e. keep foot in mid air for a few seconds
with the kicking foot pointing down after ball has left the foot
Triangle Passing
In this drill both the passer and the receiver are moving in 3’s Triangle Passing:
Hard Foot Hangs
after Kicking
Three players make a triangle about 20m apart
One player starts with a ball and passes on the run to a moving receiver
The punt should be aimed to bounce in front of the receiver who should be indicating where s
s/he wants the pass by pointing with the finger
No player should be standing still at any time
All players are moving while passing and receiving
This is known as a ‘match running drill’ which actually represents what is happening in a match situation
Which trio can make 10 passes first?
Can you take the ball without it bouncing?
Less skilled players come closer together while more skilled players can move further apart or for
complete beginners let them throw/hand/fist the ball while travelling
Common Faults
Non Guiding Arm Arc
• Many players don’t use their non-guiding arm (also known as the balance
arm) to balance during the kicking action.
• It is important to keep the arm out at shoulder height, with it preferably
moving in an arcing motion during the kick.
• It may help when learning the skill to bring this arm to the halt position for
balancing the body during the kicking phase
• Effects of not utilising the balance arm on the kick include reduced distance
and accuracy.
• A simple remedial drill to address this is “Fence Kicking”, in which a player
kicks off one step with their balance arm holding onto a fence rail, partner or
• You can also use another drill called “Hang Kicking”, where a player stands
on one leg (support leg) and tries to kick the ball as far as they can. Without
the balance arm, it is very difficult for them to retain their balance.
Analyse from different positions…
From the back, from the side, and from the
The ball grip and let down for beginners
The run up – marked to meet ball on impact
The ball drop – letting it down as near the ball as possible
The balance arm (known as the non-guiding arm)
The run up cadence
Square hips
The placement of the planted foot
The ball strike – ‘hard foot’ i.e. main bone of foot running
from shin bone to toe
• The follow through
• Pointed Toes – Press sole of foot against bottom of boot
Goal & Point Drill
4 Players –
behind to
D4/A4 D/3A3 D2/A2 D1/A1
X1 X2 X3
Station 1
4 Pairs Nos. 1 & 2 line up at Station 1. No. 1 the Attacker has a ball each
4 Players with a ball each line up at Station 2
A goal keeper
4 Players wait behind posts at station 3
Attacker 1 on signal attempts to solo in from the 45m line for a shot on goal
while his defender tries to dispossess
On shooting A1 moves over to prevent a player from Station2 soloing to Station
to shoot for a point behind the cones
D1 remains at Station 1
A1 remains at Station 3 while defender from S2 and retriever move to S1
Game: 5 To 2
X 2 Passes
X 5 Passes
x o
2 teams of equal numbers play against each other
Team in possession in their own half have 5 passes to move ball out of
their defence and 2 passes to score in own half
Variation: Use Your 7
A team decides how many passes they use in each half i.e. if they use
more passes in defending half they will have less in attacking half e.g. they
use 4 in defending half will give them 3 in attacking half etc.
5 To 5 To 5
5v 5
 2 Teams of 15 aside play against each other
 Aim: To play ball from middle zone to forwards in attacking
 Conditions: All players must remained in their own zones
 This encourages long kick passes from mid field zone
 Over load attacks for easier possession or over load defence
to challenge attackers
3 Man Kick Pass
1 -------------------1 -------------------------------1
3 - - --------------------------------3
Groups of 3 line up at one end of pitch with player in middle with ball
Aim: No. 2 passes to No. 1 who runs straight ahead for pass
He passes diagonally for No. 3
No. 3 returns pass for No. 1 who passes to 2 to shoot
Change places on way back
Challenge players on wings to shoot
Diagonal Kick Pass & Score
xxx 1
3 or 4 players line up at positions as shown
Aim: To pass ball diagonal and follow the full length of the pitch
X1 passes to x 2 and follows
X2 passes to x3 etc
X4 attempts shot for a point
4 other groups of 3 can play down the pitch starting on opposite
4 Man Move
No. 7 Plays the ball to 14 who moves onto it
No. 14 lays off to 13 crossing over
No. 13 ‘feeds’ to inrushing No. 8 for shot on target
Plan for enough players to keep drill going i.e. 3 or 4 players
from each of these positions
When working add defenders one at a time i.e. No. 3 to
pressurise No. 14 etc.
Gates Punt Game
Pairs aim to punt their ball between the gates from various distances
marked with cones as shown i.e. 15/20/25/30m etc.
2 Teams compete against each other to pass ball between gates
Challenge further by playing teams e.g. 4 v 4 etc.
Point Shooting Drill
Station 1
3 Sets of 5 players each line up at 3 different stations
No. 1 passes to No. 2 and follows
No. 2 passes to No. 3 who solo and shoots. No. 2 moves behind No. 5
No. 3 moves behind the goals after shooting
No. 4 retrieves ball and starts next sequence
Up to 3 groups of 5 may shoot into any one set of goals
Players at Station1 could use the Swerve Punt
Station2 players could use front of foot punts running straight at goals
Station 3 players could run across the front of goals using the Hook Punt
Goal Shooting Drill
NB Another group
may work on other
side of rectangle.
5 Players line up to sides of post as shown each with a ball
5 Other players F’s stand at one of the cones
No. 1 passes to each player at the cones in turn
After the last pass he shoots for goal i.e. between the dome
and the post. Place a dome 1m from either post as targets for
Add defender to chase attacker and prevent score
Hot Spot Kicks
Forwards X’s line up as shown. Start with 2 or 3 and gradually add more
Feeders play balls as shown to Hot Spots for certain players to run, collect and
Progress to Feeders playing ball to mid fielders with their backs to forwards, as
soon as they receive they turn to kick to player in hot spots
As skill level improves add defenders, one at a time, to pressurise kickers
Piggy in the Middle
1. Players work in groups of 4, and set up as shown, with 2 players at one end, one
player in the middle, and the last player at the opposite end. I recommend that they
start at 20m intervals.
2. Player A starts with the ball and punts to Player B in the middle. Player A
runs into the middle position, as Player B receives the ball, turns, and punts to
Player C. Player B follows his ball and runs to the position of Player C, as he
Punts back to Player A in the middle position.
3. Player A receives the ball, turns and punts to Player D and the drill continues.
Each player moves to the next position after disposing of the ball. (Player A goes
to B, B to C, etc.)
Triangle Punting
How in Works
1. Set up 6 cones, using 2 different colours, in 2 triangle
layouts and about 15/30 m apart.
2. The ball is passed around the 3 groups of yellow cones,
while a second ball is passed around the red cones.
3. The drill starts with short punts in a clockwise direction,
then swap to an anti clockwise direction.
4. Players move anywhere outside triangle
Variation: 2 players at a time in each group, and over 30 m a player kicks long to the
next group.
As the player sets to catch the ball, the next player in the group runs around the front
and acts as a feeder.
The player catches the ball, hand passes to the feeder then receives it back and
kicks to the next group.
The feeder then prepares to catch the ball on the next rotation.
Release Ball
6D v 4A
6D v 4A
Play 6 D’s v 4 A’s in each defending zone as shown
Aim: Defenders must play ball to A’s as ‘release ball’ in mid field sector when opportunity
Condition defenders to play ball as soon as possible to A’s
When working well place defender on A in mid field and then another
Challenge further by evening up defenders & attackers i.e. 6 v 6
Circle Shoot
Set Up:
Set up portable posts in the
middle of a 20/40m radius
Circle depending on skill level.
How to Play:
1. 2 Teams X 5/6 or any
2. Aim: To shoot for points
outside the circle
3. Play equal number of
players on either side of
goals initially then …
4. Players may move
anywhere but must shoot
outside the circle
Shoot On Sight
 5 v 2/3:
 5 Players with coloured tops play against an
unequal number for a set time i.e. 3 mins. This
makes it easier for one team to get plenty of
shooting action.
 Use a small pitch with the small portable
goals e.g. 45m x 40m.
 The aim is to shoot as soon as you have
possession or one hand pass only to get the
scorer into a favourable position.
 Less skilled players may be permitted one
solo or bounce before shooting
 Have extra balls at the side of the goals to
keep the game in action.
 All shoots must be with chest towards the
target and using a ‘hard foot’ i.e. toe down –
heel up action.
 Allow the other team an even
number after a set time
i.e. 3 mins.
Shoot on Sight Players Resting
Retrieve Balls