How to kick the ball
Kicking the ball is a fundamental skill in soccer used for passing and shooting. Producing a good kick is mostly about balance and composure.
Striking the ball
The placement of your supporting foot is as important as your kicking foot. Planting your supporting foot in line with the ball will keep your shot trajectory low. If you plant your supporting foot farther back, you’ll produce a lofted shot. Your upper body also affects the height of the ball. When you are leaning back your shot will be high, but if you lean forward the ball will usually remain low.
To produce a powerful shot or pass you have to drive your kicking foot and follow-through. If you have trouble remembering to follow-through, try landing on your kicking foot after you strike the ball.
Before striking a volley, you need to stay on your toes and adjust to the path of the ball. Do not swing before you have adjusted yourself properly to the ball. Stay composed and focus on timing the volley. A good volley is largely determined by the timing of your swing.
Techniques for kicking the ball
Inside of the foot (push pass)
Plant your supporting foot about 10 cm (4-5 inches) to the side of the ball with your toes pointed in direction of the target. With your ankle locked at about 90 degrees, contact the ball with the arch of your foot. If well executed, the ball will roll smoothly rather than bounce or skip along the ground.
Outside of the foot
This technique is commonly used by midfielders. When planting your supporting foot, your toes should be pointed about 15-30 degrees to the side of the target. Contact the ball with the bottom, outside of your shoelaces.
Plant your supporting foot in line with the ball and with toes pointed at your target. Bring your kicking leg back and drive it forward in one motion. The toes and ankle of your kicking foot should be stretched and locked. Strike the ball with the area of your shoelaces and follow through in direction of the target. To keep your shot low, contact the ball slightly above the equator and keep your shoulders over it.
Position your supporting foot next to the ball with toes aimed slightly to the side of your target. Strike the ball off center, so that spin is produced. You should make contact with the lower inside part of your shoelaces. Lean forward or back to adjust the height of your shot.
The toes of your supporting foot should be pointed at your target or slightly to the side. Contact the ball with the lower outside part of your shoelaces and follow-through to curve the ball.
Quickly retract your kicking leg back and extend it forward. Strike the bottom part of ball with the the tip of your toes. This will produce a lofted ball, spinning vertically towards you.
Make small adjustments in your footing so that you are well aligned and balanced before swinging at the ball. Producing a good volley is largely determined by your timing. Focus on when to swing rather than where to contact the ball.
How to practice striking the ball
The best way to practice is with a partner who can consistently pass the ball back to you. If you don’t have a training partner, then find a wall and strike the ball against it. It’s important to practice striking the ball repeatedly, without interruption. It takes many hours of repetition to master the techniques.
Having a training partner can be especially helpful when practicing volleys. Ask your partner to throw the ball at your feet and volley it back to his hands. Practicing volleys is slightly more difficult when you’re alone, but it’s not impossible. Simply toss or kick the ball up and strike as it falls.