5 Ball Striking Tips to Score More Goals
Every striker needs to be comfortable finishing with different parts of their foot.
Ankle flexibility is key, and when you find yourself 40 yards or closer to the net, as a goal scorer, you need to be comfortable finishing with different methods of ball striking.
Here are a few to add to your repertoire.
1. Instep for Placement
Inside the 18 yard box one, of the most proven methods for finishing is via the instep into the lower or upper corners of the goal. Finishing with the instep allows the shooter maximum control and placement of the shot.
Instep finishing also allows the striker to put in-swing on the ball, which means you can start it outside the post, or bend it away from the keeper when you craft your attempt on goal.
2. Laces for Power
Conversely, if you're going to be trying to hit 30 yard laser beams into the upper v from distance, you're likely going to strike the ball with your laces to generate enough power to beat a good keeper.
Remember to lock your ankle, get your knee over the ball, and if you really want to create maximum power, get your whole body, hips, arms, torso into your shot, and try landing on your kicking foot rather than your plant foot to harness maximum velocity and shot power.
Here's a link to a goal of sheer power struck with the laces:
3. Outside of The Foot for The Audacious
Good finishers use all parts of their foot to score goals, not just the traditional instep for placement, or laces shot for power.
Develop the ability to strike the outer edge of the soccer ball with the outside of your foot to create bending shots that can be a real nightmare for keepers.
Again, lock your ankle, curl your toes downward, and striker the outer edge of the ball to create a truly unique spin that can be used to wrong-foot goalkeepers and keep your glory bound shot off their fingertips long enough to see the back of the net bulge.
Here is Roberto Carlos scoring, arguably, the best goal ever with the outside of his foot:
4. The Toe Poke Inside the Box
Every youth player who started out their careers playing recreational soccer has been told not to kick the ball with their toe. It's true that when you're learning the fundamentals of good technical soccer using your toe is not something that coaches particularly want to see their players doing.
However, as you advance in your soccer development it is important to add a toe poke to your quiver for scoring goals inside the 18 yard box. A good toe poke requires very little back lift (swinging your leg like a golf club) to generate power.
A locked ankle and sharp toe poke gives the finisher the ability to shoot the ball at speed in the blink of an eye, and is a useful method of ball striking for the penalty box predators out there.
Here's Zlatan with a good example of a toe poke:
5. Improvising with a Back Heel
Sometimes your back is to goal, or you've run into a swarm of opposition defenders and have to turn away from the goal you're attacking, or for whatever unique in game situation has developed, the best option might be to get creative and try finishing with a back heel.
A back heel should be done with your ankle looked, and eyes on the ball when you strike it, hit with vim right on the heel lower achilles.
Here's a look at one example from Germany a few years back: