Soccer Skills – The Ultimate Guide

In these soccer skill tutorials we give in-depth lessons on how to perform every critical soccer skill.

Every soccer skill has a video lesson, detailed step-by-step photos and a full written explanation on how to perform each soccer skill.

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Shooting – Curved Finesse Shot

You can add an element of depth to your strikes by making the ball curve dramatically in mid-flight. With practice, anyone who can strike the ball solidly can learn to add the spin necessary to curve the ball through the air.

Video Tutorial – Curved Finesse Shot:

Step by Step Walk Through – The Curved Finesse Shot:

Approach

Generally, the approach is between 60-90 degrees.

You really want to be approaching the ball from the side because coming from a really wide angle allows you to get the whip that you need to wrap your foot around the ball and use the correct technique to generate enough spin so you create a substantial curving movement to deceive the goalkeeper.

Your steps should be large for better swing and power. You can run up on toes but it is not necessary.

Soccer Finesse Shot - Approach

 

 

Standing Foot

Mind your planting foot as you begin to kick the ball. Your planting foot is the foot that you aren’t kicking with, the foot that will be the anchor to your kicking foot.

Place your standing foot directly in line with the ball, not in front of the ball and not behind the ball. The gap between your planted foot and the ball should roughly be the size of two of your hands. If you’re slightly closer or a little bit further out it shouldn’t make too much of an issue. Keep a slight bend in the knee of your planted leg

The direction of your planted foot is very different from other techniques. Normally when you pass the ball your standing foot is pointing directly towards your target, however with the finesse shot you actually point your standing foot slightly away from your target. This is because with the finesse shot you are generating substantial movement and curve on the ball. If you aim directly for the corner of the goal the ball will curve and end up in the middle of the goal making for an easy save for the goalkeeper. So you actually want to aim and point your standing foot slightly outside the posts and then generate enough side spin and curve during your kick that ball back ends up in your desired location.

Soccer Finesse Shot - Standing Foot

 

Soccer Finesse Shot - Standing Foot 2

 

 

Ball Contact Area

Look at the ball straight on as if it were a circle and imagine a cross (+) across the center of it. For a right-footed strike, close your foot and hit the bottom right quadrant of the ball. For a left-footed strike, close your foot and hit the bottom left quadrant of the ball. This is what’s going to generate the spin.

However, just hitting the ball on the side will not generate enough spin and movement. Your initial point of contact will be the bottom right or left quadrant of the ball. But as you strike the ball you need to wrap your foot around the ball and strike in an upward motion. This will not only create sidespin but topspin as well. It will cause the ball to dip and curve at the same time which produces a much more divisive shot.

Soccer Finesse Shot - Ball Contact Area

 

Shooting Foot

Take your footwear off and look at your foot. Feel the inside of your shooting foot. Feel just below the end of your big toe bone. Now move another 3⁄4 to 1 inch (1.9 to 2.5 cm) towards your ankle. This is where you should make contact with the ball. Make sure that your ankle is locked and your toes are pointing upwards. You want to point your toes upwards to make sure that the ball not only gets a beautiful side spin but also a little bit of topspin the ball dips beautifully into the top corner.

When you actually kick, your kicking foot should wrap around the ball. You’re not making clean contact you’re almost slicing it trying to get as much spin as possible.

Soccer Finesse Shot - Shooting Foot

 

Body

In the curved finesse shot, your body alignment will not be facing the goal. If you’re kicking the ball with your inside right foot, your body will be faced slightly to the right of the target. If you’re kicking the ball with your inside left foot, your body will be faced slightly to the left of the target.

The most common mistake that players make is that when they strike the ball their hips are already facing the corner of the goal where they want the ball to go. This results in a shot that ends up straight down the middle of the goal. To fix this issue simply ensure you face your hips away from the goal at impact.

However, your hips need to have momentum. The whole movement starts from your hips. Nobody has ever delivered a great free-kick just by swinging their leg and not having their hips working together. So approach the ball from a good angle and have your entire hip moving and creating momentum through the strike, but at impact ensure your hips are facing away from the goal.

Keep the hand that’s on the planting side of the body out for balance. You’re moving through the ball, and your body is curving slightly as it kicks the ball. Keeping your planting-side handout and up while you kick will help add power to your shot and give you balance on the follow-through.

Keep your head completely still as strike the ball. Do not look up straight away to watch where it goes.

Lastly, it’s very important to slightly lean over the ball. If you are leaning back the ball will end up going way over the goal which is not something we are looking.

Soccer Finesse Shot -Body Position

 

Follow Through

Keep your ankle locked and keep your body over the ball. Follow through by swinging your kicking leg in towards the goal after the ball is kicked. Try to bring your kicking leg across your body, so that you exaggerate the outside-inside swinging motion. In other words you are going to create an arc with your leg. After you have made contact and the ball has been released your leg should replicate the direction and flight path of the ball you are trying to achieve.
Standing Foot

Soccer Finesse Shot - Follow Through

Final Step

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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Shooting – Chip Shot

The chip shot is a technique that’s going to allow you to get the ball up and over the goalkeeper quickly and efficiently.

Most people when performing a chip shot only get their foot under the ball just as if they’re playing a long pass. This is not the technique you want to use in a 1v1 situation. The reason being, is that with that type of technique the flight of the ball has a more diagonal or straight flight. This flight path will not get over the goalkeeper and into the net as desired.

So let’s talk about how to perform this technique correctly.

Video Tutorial – The Perfect Chip Shot:

Step by Step Walk Through – The Perfect Chip Shot:

Shooting Foot

So as I already mentioned you don’t want to be chipping the ball like you would for a long ball. Also, ideally, you shouldn’t see any backspin on the ball. When you watch top players like Messi in slow motion you’ll see the ball actually has topspin on it. So firstly, lock your ankle and point your toes back towards your shin. It’s very important that you tilt your foot upward with this technique. The tilting of your foot upward is going to get the lift that’s required. It is a short, scooping motion, almost like you’re flicking the ball over the goalkeeper.

Soccer Chip Shot - 10

 

Contact Area

Chipping is all about getting your foot underneath the ball. Make contact underneath the ball.

Put your toe into the grass so that you’re just about touching the ball and then drive your toe through the underside of the ball lifting upwards in a scooping motion as you do so.

You’ll notice in Messi’s chips that his foot is tilted upwards and his scooping motion is very quick.

So, get your foot underneath the ball, and scoop it (you may want to flick your toe as well) so it goes right up in the air and this will usually end up with the goalkeeper caught off guard. 

Then dig your foot underneath the ball over the goalkeeper.

How to Chip Shot Ball Contact

 

 

Follow Through

You do not need a long follow-through, just a quick scooping motion with your foot tilted upwards. You don’t need lots of power. You’ll see when Messi is one-on-one with the goalkeeper the keeper comes out and he is not lifting his leg backward as he performs the chip. It almost catches the goalkeeper off guard because all he is doing is scooping and lifting the ball.

Soccer Chip Shot - 6

 

Soccer Chip Shot - 7

 

Back Swing

Chipping does not require a long backswing. Do not bring your thigh back too far as this will create too much power. The power comes from your knee down. Chipping is a small movement from your knee down, not a giant leg swing. You do not want a straight leg during this technique. 

Soccer Chip Shot - 1

 

Body Position

When you’re about to make contact with that ball to lift it always angle your body in the direction you want the ball to travel. 

Soccer Chip Shot - Body Position

 

Start to Finish

Soccer Chip Shot - 1

Soccer Chip Shot - Shot 2

Soccer Chip Shot - 3

Soccer Chip Shot - 4

Soccer Chip Shot - 5

Soccer Chip Shot - 6

Soccer Chip Shot - 7

Final Step

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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Shooting – Knuckle Ball

The chip shot is a technique that’s going to allow you to get the ball up and over the goalkeeper quickly and efficiently.

The “knuckleball” is when the ball does not spin as it flies through the air. Spin is what gives a ball stability as it at moves, and without it your shot will snake through the air, changing directions suddenly and making it nearly impossible for a keeper to predict.

So let’s talk about how to perform this technique correctly.

Video Tutorial – How to Shoot a Perfect Knuckle Ball:

Step by Step Walk Through – How to Shoot a Perfect Knuckle Ball:

The Run Up

Start 3-5 steps behind the ball and try to approach from a 35-45 degree angle.

As you approach the ball you want to be on the balls of your feet.

A critical part of the run-up is the very last step you take before you kick the call. With your last step before you kick, you have to push yourself onto your tip-toes while getting ready for impact.

Another key point is to stand upright, keeping yourself balanced on the balls of both feet. As you hit the ball, you want to keep your chest up straight as much as possible. It is best to start in this position too. Note how knuckleball experts Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale stand before a free-kick. They stand tall, with their chests almost puffed out.

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Run Up

 

Standing Foot

While striking the ball your supporting foot needs to be about 15-20 cm away from the ball and your toes need to point in the direction of the intended kick.

Do not place your standing foot behind or in front of the ball. Instead, place your plant foot even with the ball, your instep (where the inside edge of your foot curves slightly) should be in directly in line with the middle of the ball.

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Standing Foot 

 

Ball Contact Point

The goal is to have the least spin possible on the ball. To achieve this, you want to hit the ball just below the center to avoid any backspin or side spin.

You want to hit the ball as close to dead center as possible.

If you want a little more height on the ball then going striking it slightly lower than center will put the ball higher in the air (to, for example, get the ball over a wall).

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Contact Area

 

Striking Foot Contact Point

First, rotate your kicking foot slightly outwards.

You want your toes pointed straight down with your ankle locked firmly – a wobbly ankle introduces spin. Do your best to make your foot as stiff as possible at the point of contact.

You want your foot to strike the ball between the instep and the middle of the ankle joint.

The contact you’ll make is similar to “punching” the ball with the top of your laces.

It is a sharp, quick movement.

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Shooting Foot

 

 Body Posture

Try to avoid leaning back. Keep your body either straight or leaning slightly forward in order to further reduce spin and to have greater control over the ball.

Keeping your torso up, straight, and balanced is very important. It keeps your momentum straight, allowing you to pull off of the shot without adding spin.

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Body Position

 

Follow Through

After striking the ball, stop your leg immediately and take no more than one or two steps to settle your body.

Stopping your follow through as soon as you hit the ball is the key to a good knuckleball and one of the hardest parts to master.

You do not want to follow through the ball any more than your momentum makes you. So, as soon as you make contact, stop kicking your leg. You’ll feel your shin continue through the ball, but everything above the knee should stop.

Some players find this easiest to do if they hop after the strike while some find it easier to drive their shooting foot into the ground after contact.

If you find it easier to hop after you make contact, you can pop off your plant foot and then land on your shooting foot first, placing it right in front of where the ball used to be.

You want to feel almost like you’re slapping the ball. It will take conscious effort to pull your foot back, but the hard part is ensuring you only pull back after you have struck the ball.

Soccer Knuckle Ball - Follow Through

Final Step

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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Shooting – Volley

A volley is an air-borne strike in football, where a player’s foot meets and directs the ball in an angled direction before it has time to reach the ground. A volley can be extremely hard to aim and requires good foot-eye coordination and timing.

In general, the volley requires that the player strike the ball with the front of his foot, with the toes pointing downward, ankle locked, and the knee lifted. It is important for most applications to keep the knee high over the ball when struck, and lean slightly forward to keep the shot accurate and keeping it down. Doing so imparts a great deal of topspin and prevents the ball from flying wildly over the goal if done correctly. Because of the power and spin imparted on the ball, the shot can follow an unpredictable path to goal and prove difficult to defend against.

Video Tutorial – The Volley:

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Passing – Low Drive Pass

The driven pass is a technique for a straight long-distance pass. It puts backspin on the ball so it checks back as it bounces making it an ideal ball for a teammate. It is a combination of technique and strength so eat your Wheaties before you start driving balls. This pass can be so effective because of the pace put on the ball (making it difficult for defenders) and its accuracy. Like any pass it takes two to make a pass and this pass is no different. Because of its pace and direct line to your target your teammate has to be that much more aware of receiving it. Switching the play, threading the needle and capitalizing on a quick counter are when a driven ball being played can be most effective.

Video Tutorial – The Low Drive Pass:

Step by Step Walk Through – The Low Drive Pass:

Approach

Approach at 45-degree angle

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 1

 

Standing Foot

Plant your standing foot next to the ball at with your toes pointed towards your target.

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 2

 

Standing Leg

Your standing leg should also be at 45-degree angle. This allows full ankle rotation of your striking foot.

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 3

 

Ball Contact Area

Strike the ball pure through its center. Keep your eye on the part of the ball you want to strike and then drive your kicking foot through the ball with power. The height of a driven pass depends on the part of the ball you strike. Hitting the underside of the ball will cause your pass to travel higher but with less speed and distance. The further up the ball you strike the lower your pass will be, resulting in less height but greater speed.

Soccer Long Ball Step 8

 

Shooting Foot

The key to a driven pass is ankle rotation. Rotate your ankle to strike the ball with the bone of your foot (top of your instep). This will generate more power enabling long driven passes to teammates.

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 4

 

Body Position

Use your arm for balance and keep your head still as you follow through to generate both power and accuracy.

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 5

 

Follow Through

Keep your follow through extremely low and ensure your kicking foot swings across your body rather than cutting to the outside.

Soccer Low Drive Pass Step 6

Final Steps

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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Passing – Long Ball

Making a long pass is imperative for modern football for teams to cover as much ground in the shortest time possible. Similar to a driven pass, you need to have a mental checklist as you receive a long pass. Be aware of your body position, how close the ball is to your body, how close the player you want to pass to is and the situation of the receiving player. Long passes are typically used to switch up play such as making a quick counter-attacking break, changing from a crowded left flank to an open right or directly playing straight down the middle as seen in some soccer formations. Ideally, you want to avoid having the ball to bounce before it reaches your teammate. A bouncing ball is harder to control and will cause greater opportunity to lose possession of the ball.

Video Tutorial – The Long Ball:

Step By Step Walk Through  – The Long Ball:

Approach

First thing is you need to get the ball out away from your feet because this is a really hard technique to perform when the ball is under your feet. Very rarely will you kick a ball that is completely still. So that when you’re practicing this make sure the ball is rolling.

Then Approach the ball at a 45-degree angle.

Soccer Long Ball Step 1

 

Standing Foot

Next, you need to get your standing foot in the right position. I can’t stress this enough, if you don’t get your standing foot in the right position say goodbye to a good strike.

The crucial part here is because the ball is rolling, you want to plant your foot just in front of the ball so you can get your body over the ball at the point of impact. This allows you to really follow through the ball and keeps the ball low and increases its distance.

Your standing foot also needs to be a little bit wider than normal. If your standing foot is too close then it doesn’t allow you to open your foot up through the bone of your foot. Lastly, all of your weight needs to be on your standing foot.

 

Kicking Foot

Next, your kicking foot needs to be completely open and planted to the ground. The common mistake that people make is they point their toe from their kicking foot to the ground or they don’t open there foot up enough.

To achieve a completely open foot, you have to bend down and get low, you can’t afford to be up high. If you are up high it will force you to point your toe to the ground. You need to bend down and have your toe pointing completely out so you can strike the ball on the bone of your foot.

Soccer Long Ball Step 2

 

Ball Contact Area

Then, strike the ball with the bone of your foot just below the center point of the ball. Your head should be completely still on impact and after impact. The flight of the ball should be straight as an arrow, no swerve, no curl, and just a little backspin. Also, have your arm out for balance and protection.

Soccer Long Ball Step 8

 

Kicking Foot

Ensure your kicking foot swings across your body rather than cutting to the outside.

Soccer Long Ball Step 4

 

Follow Through

You’re not just relying on leg power either you’re pushing your whole body through the ball.

Soccer Long Ball Step 5

 

Final Step

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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Passing – Push Pass

The Push-Pass is without a doubt the most used pass in the game of soccer. Although it may seem quite simple it takes lots of training to perform this skill with pinpoint accuracy throughout the game. Proper technique is crucial to the accuracy and success of your passes.

Video Tutorial  – The Push Pass:

Step by Step Walk Through  – The Push Pass:

Standing Foot 

First, plant your standing foot about a foot away from the ball to either side. This makes your stance balanced and allows your passing foot to follow through. Your toes on your planted foot should be pointing directly at your target.

Soccer Push Pass (1)

 

Passing Foot

Turn your passing foot to a 90-degree angle. Hold your knee and ankle joints firm. If your ankle joint is weak or your foot isn’t totally open you’re probably going to have some unwanted curve on the ball.

Soccer Push Pass (2)

 

Body Position

Get your body over the ball. If your body’s over the ball when you pass you have a much better chance of keeping the ball on the ground and going towards your target.

Your belly button should be facing the player receiving the pass. And your hips should face towards your intended target.

Soccer Push Pass (5)

 

Passing Foot

Strike through the ball with the middle of the inside of your foot following through straight towards your target. Use the inside of the foot – that’s the area from the base of the big toe to the central area of the heel, under the ankle bone. This is where the most surface area is. A lot of problems occur you pass the ball outside of this area. If you want to get the most power and accuracy you need to make contact with the ball at the base of your foot where your ankle is.

Soccer Push Pass (3)

Soccer Push Pass (4)

 

Follow Through

Make flush contact with the ball’s horizontal mid-line (this will keep it low). Make sure you drive through the ball and your kicking foot follows through towards the target.

Soccer Push Pass (6)

Final Step

If you are serious about taking your soccer skills to the next level Coachable is the easiest, safest and most affordable way to connect with an experienced soccer coach who can help you improve your performance and reach your individual goals. You can search for a safe, qualified coach in your area. All of our soccer coaches have extensive coaching experience and are required to pass rigorous background checks. Find Your Soccer Coach Now

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