Witness the ball curving through the air, and you might just think an athlete like Shea Groom is dabbling in a bit of soccer magic. What looks like a normal shot ends with the ball veering in a new direction, escaping any head-on prediction the goalkeeper might have had. Curving the soccer ball—also known as bending—is what gives Groom’s shots a competitive edge. As a forward for the Houston Dash, she uses her skills to turn tricky shots into goals for her team. “Bending is important because it really deceives the goalkeeper, deceives the defenders, and just puts that little extra spin on the ball that creates a good goal-scoring opportunity,” said Groom.
How To Bend a Soccer Ball
Bending a soccer ball is when you use your kick to put spin on the ball and control the direction of your strike by making it curve through the air. It’s a useful skill to be able to get the ball past the goalie, pass to a teammate or change course and get past your opponent’s defensive players. Learning how to bend a soccer ball will take your game to the next level. The bend will allow you to deceive the goalkeeper and your opponents. Bending a soccer ball is an advanced technique and learning to master this skill will add a level of complexity and surprise to your shooting ability.
Step 1: Contact Point
The foot and ball connection in the game of soccer is sacred. Connecting your foot with the ball at the right point will create a beautiful curve. Instructions:
- Contact the ball with the area of your foot right below your big toe, just before your arch begins.
- Imagine there’s a line around the middle of the ball. You want to make contact with the ball just under that line, which gives the ball an upward curving movement.
- As you shoot, lock your ankle and point your toes upward, which helps you curve around the ball to create the bend.
Step 2: Foot Placement
Proper foot placement creates stability and allows your hips to swing around the ball, encouraging a strong curve. Instructions:
- Run up to the ball at an angle—this allows space to be able to curve the ball.
- Plant your supporting foot at a slight angle next to the ball. An angled foot creates side spin which enhances the curve.
- Your foot should be slightly behind the ball, with a few inches of space in between.
Step 3: Follow-Through
Good follow-through is what will make or break your bend. What births the bend is the motion of your hip sweeping around. Instructions:
- As you kick the ball, swing your hip around in a sweeping semi-circle motion to create spin.
- Lean your torso over the ball a little bit as you shoot it. If you lean too far back the ball will get too much height and might fly over the goal.
Curving the Ball: Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Learning how to curve a soccer ball isn’t something you’ll pick up in a day. Understanding the art of the curve takes time, dedication, and repetition. Groom believes that with repetition comes mastery. “I think repetition with anything makes you a master at it. And in my game, things that I work on the most end up being such a crucial part and crucial skills that make me different and make me special,” said Groom. “So anytime that you can get more repetition on the ball, I think you’re going to be a better player.” Take it slow, and with practice you will become a bending sensation. Dive into some of our other 3-Stripes Sessions on soccer techniques like juggling, dribbling and shooting to further enhance your skills. Let’s kick it out of the park! / / 0 comments Curving a soccer ball requires you to put side-spin on the ball. Spinning the ball clockwise will curve the ball to the right, and spinning it counter-clockwise will curve the ball to the left. Like anything else on the pitch, bending or curving the ball takes not only artistry but a ton of practice. For starters, set up a cone between you and the net. Practice curving the ball around the cone and into the net. Experiment with striking the ball at different angles and different levels of force. Put in the hard work, and soon, you’ll be bending the ball, mid-flight, just like a pro.
Curving a soccer ball requires artistry, fundamentals, and practice
Watching a superstar dominate the pitch is like watching an artist paint a masterpiece or a magician perform a jaw-dropping act. It can seem at times like they almost have a supernatural control over the ball, causing it to bend in mid-air and curve around defenders or find a corner of the net. Of course, all the ball-handling, passing, and shooting that the pros do really just breaks down to solid fundamentals, experience on the pitch, and loads of conditioning and practice. Players are always asking The Instep how to curve a soccer ball like Messi. Here’s some advice from our experts:
Learn the Basics
To put spin on the ball, you want to strike it slightly off center. Place the ball on the pitch and line up about three strides away. Assuming you’re right-footed, approach the ball with a slight angle from left to right. Strike the ball with the inside of your foot near the bottom right corner. Bending the ball in the other direction requires the opposite approach; attack the ball from right to left, and strike the bottom left corner with the front of your foot. If you’re left-footed, the same basics apply, but the directions are switched, as if you were looking into a mirror.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When practicing how to curve the soccer ball, experiment with striking the ball from different angles and with varying amounts of power, until you find the approach that gives you maximum spin. A slight “flick” of the ankle when you’re striking the ball may add even more spin to your shot.
Be a Hero on the Pitch
Wrap your pass around the defense and set a teammate up for a score. Launch a free kick around the wall of defenders and into the back corner of the net. Give yourself a new weapon when you’re putting the ball in play on a corner kick. Practice for all of these different scenarios. Sooner or later, you’ll have a chance to put your skills to use on the field.
Hone Your Skills With a Pro-Quality Ball
Though you can put spin on any soccer ball, it helps to practice with great gear. The latest Nike® soccer ball and adidas® soccer ball designs, as well as offerings from other top brands, should all serve you fine. If you’re looking for improved traction and a consistent striking area, a new pair of cleats might be in order, such as high-tech soccer boots by PUMA®. Recent posts in How To’s and FAQ’s
How to Bend a Soccer Ball with the Outside of your Foot
Today we are learning how to bend a ball with the outside of your foot. Bending the ball with the outside of your foot is a technique that can be used for passing, crossing and shooting. I love the outside of the foot technique! There are many different techniques for using the outside of your foot. In this Online Soccer Academy training video we are going to learn how to cross and pass with the outside of your foot. This can work for shooting too but this technique I’m going to show you is not usually used for outside of the foot shooting with power. I will have a different video for that one day. Equipment Needed: Ball, 4 cones and a trashcan. Key Points: 1. Stand about 5 steps straight behind the ball.
2. Place your plant foot an inch or two behind the ball and to the side.
3. Lock your ankle and position it so the outside of your foot is exposed. Angle it so your big toe is almost pointing up to the sky.
4. Hit the lower outside part of the ball with the outside of your foot; close to the base of your toes.
5. Follow through high, lean back and curl your foot to cause the ball to have that upward, downward motion. Things to Note: If you follow through high that helps the ball get in the air, over the defenders and then dip down. If you follow through low the ball will still have curve on it, it just won’t go high. Both styles will work, it just all depends on the situation. Sometimes the situation calls for you curving it low and sometimes it needs to be high. Remember too that your ball may not curve much in the air but if the ball has good outside spin on it from your technique when it hits the ground it will curve a lot on the ground. An example being you play the ball over the top to your teammate running down the wing, the ball looks like it is going straight towards the goalie, but when it hits the ground, the ball curves away from going straight at the goalie and right into the path of your winger running on to it. That’s what you call a great pass! Exercise Player Can Do: Start off taking a few light swings without the ball to practice your outside of the foot technique. When you are ready practice hitting dead balls. Set up your ball about 30 yards away from your target. Your target is your four cones you made into a box. Cross the ball into the box using the outside of your foot. Then repeat. Do this for 5-10 minutes. If you are feeling really confident set up a trash can and try to hit it using the outside of your foot! What Player Could Be Doing Wrong: If you are hitting your plant foot or not feeling comfortable then make sure you don’t have your plant foot to close to the ball. Remember your plan foot is an inch or two behind the ball and to the side. You need room for your kicking foot to kick the ball. If your ball is not getting height then you are striking the wrong part of the ball. Hit the lower outside part of the ball and follow through high. If you hit it in the middle or top part of the ball that will decrease your chance the ball will have height on it. Bonus Tip! Once you believe your technique is sharp then practice bending the ball with the outside of your foot from a dribble and hit your target. So dribble a few steps, get your head up, then cross the ball to your target with the outside of your foot. This will make it more game like. This Video Covers:
How to Bend a Soccer Ball — How to Curve a Soccer Ball — Soccer Passing Drills — Soccer Passing — Soccer Pass — Soccer Drills for Passing — Soccer Video Passing Drills — Passing Drills for Soccer — Passing Soccer Drills — Passing in Soccer — Kicking a Soccer Ball Technique
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