Arguably the best goals in soccer/football are side volleys… Today we’ll talk about what they are, when to use them and different ways to practice. Teaching the muscle memory correct form is one of the first things you need. You can use these to score goals and pass short or long.
Side volleys using the laces
When it comes to using the laces [top of foot] you have to do these 5 things:
- Lean the opposite way so that you can get your foot up and into position to connect.
- Have your arm out for balance.
- Position your leg and foot so you can connect with the top of the foot.
- Trust [have confidence] that you will connect.
- Keep your toes down as you strike through the ball.
Group of 4 using the inside of foot
This is a fun and challenging drill to help with redirecting the volley.
See 4 players, 2 who toss and the others volley.
Notice after the volley they change places.
Inside of the front foot [inside]
These might be the easiest ones to learn because you don’t have to adjust in terms of positioning as much.
Notice in the video below how the player bends his kicking knee, therefore allowing the foot to connect to the ball higher up.
Across the body & closing the gate side volleys
When practicing these, first start by only being 3-5 yards from the person tossing.
The further you are the harder it is – video and to improve fast you want things to be easy at first.
Even if you have great skill, it’s a good idea to practice some up close.
There are 2 main ways:
- Top of the foot [laces] to get power
- [Inside] of the foot for placement and when the ball is too high to use the laces.
To save time retrieving, practice using a goal or person to catch the balls.
Once you’ve become clean and consistent try from long range crosses like Cole in the video below.
Have a bag full of balls to practice
This is a skill that takes time and several reps, so make sure you have several soccer balls.
If training by yourself you can toss the ball up and then strike it as it’s coming down before or after the bounce.
Using a partner you can practice from them giving you a light toss. It takes a few times before you can both time the toss.
Sometimes in practice or games the ball will bounce just before you connect, but you need to be good at these too. On game day the ball will come in at you ways you can’t practice or prepare for, so take advantage and get used to all the different ways.
How to teach good form / mechanics
When it comes to soccer or any sport you need to learn proper form…
One of the most advanced and challenging shots in soccer/football is a side volley using laces.
To improve form, lean against a wall or the goal. Memic how you would hit a side volley.
Two reasons for leaning against something is to 1) have balance and 2) teach your muscle memory correct form. Leaning allows your foot to come higher up to volley the ball.
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