9 Myths About Ball Striking in Soccer You Need to Stop Believing

In the world of soccer, ball-striking is a fundamental skill that every player must master. While top professionals showcase a wide array of ball-striking techniques, they are all built on foundational principles that are often misunderstood. Unfortunately, many of the traditional teachings about ball-striking are myths that have been passed down through generations, leading to suboptimal performance and even injury. In this blog post, we’ll explore 9 common myths about ball striking in soccer and challenge the conventional wisdom behind them. Specifically, we are discussing ball striking with laces.

1. “Foot Placement Changes Depending on the Target”
One common myth is that foot placement changes depending on where you’re aiming i.e. high pass/shot or low pass/shot. In reality, foot placement should remain consistent for optimal balance and accuracy. Overcomplicating this step can lead to inconsistency and a lack of precision.

2. “Jumping Through the Ball onto the Kicking Foot”
Some coaches advocate for a technique where players jump through the ball, landing on their kicking foot. This approach can lead to instability and increased risk of injury. Instead, focus on controlled, balanced movement through the strike without jumping forward.

3. “Point Toe Straight Down to the Ground”
Another myth suggests that pointing the toe straight down increases power. In truth, this creates a higher risk of injury as well as a smaller surface area making contact with the ball, and potential loss of control. A foot position where the inside of the foot is ‘brushing the grass’, allows for better ball control and flexibility in striking technique.

4. “Lean Over Top of the Ball / Lean Forward”
Leaning over the ball is often recommended to keep shots low, but it can result in poor posture and reduced power. A balanced posture (shoulders back) with a slight sideways lean is ideal for striking, allowing for a more natural follow-through and much safer posture.

5. “Planting Foot Pointed at Your Target”
While it might seem logical to point your planting foot at your target, top ball strikers tend to open up their non-kicking foot. This stance gives you the flexibility to adjust your shot and generate more power because of the extra stretch you generate.

6. “Be Balanced on Your Entire Foot”
Being balanced is crucial, but balancing on your entire foot can restrict your movement. Instead, focus on leaning to the side so most of your weight goes into the outside of your heel and down the outside of your foot. Top ball strikers rarely put weight on their toes.

7. “Arms Do Not Matter When Kicking the Ball”
Arms play a critical role in ball striking by providing balance and counterbalance during the kicking motion. Proper arm movement can enhance stability and contribute to a more effective strike as the arm opens up the stretch even further.

8. “Stretch-Reflex Is Not Important”
The stretch-reflex is a key component of efficient ball striking. It involves stretching the muscle to store potential energy, then releasing it as kinetic energy during the strike. Understanding this concept can lead to more effortless and powerful strikes.

9. “Posture Doesn’t Affect Ball Striking”
Good posture is fundamental to successful ball striking. A posture with shoulders back and hips forward creates a stable foundation for various soccer techniques, including ball striking. Poor posture can lead to inconsistent and inefficient strikes.

By debunking these common myths about ball striking, you can improve your soccer performance and reduce the risk of injury. Keep an open mind, challenge traditional teachings, and embrace a more modern approach to ball-striking fundamentals.

If you found this blog post helpful, please share it with other soccer enthusiasts and coaches. We invite you to explore our website for more insights into ball-striking techniques and principles. And remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to soccer—it’s about finding what works best for you!

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