Volleys on goal are by far the most beautiful! Usually the best goals in the World Cups or in league play are volleys on goal. There are different techniques to use, so below you’ll learn some of the best ways. I’ve seen players who are really good at dribbling who can’t connect on a side volley for months. It can take months and years before a player is good and consistent at these. Whether you play defender or forward, these volley skills will be very useful in a game situation. Not only will you improve your shooting, but also your long passing and confidence.
Common partner drills vs volleys on goal
Before you start practicing volleys on goal, make sure you also practice volleys using a partner who tosses a ball. I don’t think one way is harder, as every player is different and some might think volleys on goal are easier.
Most select/club soccer players know the 2 common partner volley drills (inside and top/laces). So because they are used to it, most players are better at partner volley drills. I think volleys on goal is more intimidating because of the distance from the shot (volley) to the goal.
Volleys on goal across the face
Before you start doing this advanced volley, first focus mainly on the easier (though important) straight on volley. It’s like building a house, where the solid part is the foundation. Then when your foundation is set and you are connecting 80% or higher, start to practice volleys across the face or over the head.
If you are practicing like we are in the video below, have the player aim low to the middle. This way if they are off target by 5 yards any direction, you’ll still hit the net/goal.
Side volleys using laces [front foot]
These might be the hardest volleys in terms of getting the form and timing right.
You want to teach your muscle memory first. If your muscle memory doesn’t know the right way, you’ll most likely never get it. You can practice by leaning on the goal post or a wall at home. Keep your toes pointed down the whole time, even after connection.
If connecting with your right foot, try to get your left arm out for balance. This will help you lean to the side, helping to get your foot higher. Also leaning will help you get behind the ball, not under.
If you can become good at all these different volleys, you’ll stand out for sure. If you don’t have a trainer or partner, you can practice on your own. To practice solo, toss a ball straight up and let it bounce once or twice. This will be a little different from a partner tossing or kicking a ball at you, but you’ll still improve.
Half volley using laces in soccer
When high school or even college kids about half volleys they look puzzled. Most club soccer players never learn these skills. Just imagine how much you’ll improve after working a few months on these skills. Once you learn it, keep practicing. You’ll keep getting better, but be patient.
The most difficult part players have with the half volley is the timing. You want to connect/volley immediately after it hits the ground. It’s almost at the same time, but you want to let it hit the ground and connect as the ball starts to bounce back up. I highly recommend you all work on these skills alone, using a wall preferably.
Let me introduce you to the half volley – see video below. Notice how the player barley lets the ball bounce and then connects/shoots while the ball starts to bounce up. Again, the timing is the hardest part. Once you are introduced, practice is the most important part.
To improve faster, I recommend you use a wall to shoot against. This way the ball comes right back to you, allowing you more reps.
Bending volleys on goal or passing long
The bending volley using the top/outside foot is beneficial for all player positions. Defenders can use it to clear the ball, while forwards and mids can use it for volleys on goal.
The main reason you want to learn these are for when the ball is right in front of you. If the ball is just a little outside your body you can hit a normal volley.
There will be times when the ball is perfectly in front of you and you’re not facing the target. During these situations you can bend the ball and make it go where you need.
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