Making an accurate shot during soccer can win your team many goals against the opponents. Shooting accuracy enables you to pass the ball to the next player without missing the spot. It also means kicking the ball into the net and scoring a goal without using too much energy.
The following tips can help you increase shooting accuracy in soccer and kick straight to your target.
Focus on Foot Contact with the Ball
Your foot's position on the ball is essential in determining the shooting accuracy. You should also pay attention to the active foot (kicking foot) and the inactive one (place foot) to ensure you are strategically ready for an accurate shot.
Kicking at the middle of the ball creates a balanced momentum that spreads throughout the ball towards the spot at which you aimed it. However, if you position your foot at the edge of the ball, the energy distribution is uneven, causing inaccurate shots.
Maintain Eye Contact with the Target
Some players miss the target because their eyes are more glued to the ball than the spot at which they are aiming. You can train your feet to coordinate with your eye contact so that you don't have to look at the ball before kicking.
After glancing down to ensure your foot is positioned on the right point of the ball, turn your eyes forward and kick. This coordination helps you create a mental path for your foot to follow as you release the ball through the air.
Create a Lengthy Run-up
Creating a lengthy run-up helps you make an accurate kick as you build momentum with a quick sprint a few steps before kicking the ball. This strategy is excellent during free kicks.
When making a long free-kick, you can move up to five meters behind the ball and charge forward gradually. Short kicks near the goal post require a length run-up of up to three meters and a precise kick. When the distance between the ball and goal posts is shorter, it's advisable to kick with minimal strength for more accuracy.
Keep Your Strides Consistent
You can make long or short strides on the soccer field depending on your target's distance. They are essential when you are slowing down from a run, but you don't want to walk too slowly to avoid losing touch with the ball.
Consistent strides help you maintain the correct balance for an accurate shot. If your strides are too short, you can miss the target since the energy distribution around the ball is not enough. Likewise, long strides can strain your legs as you focus more on where you land instead of where you kick the ball.
Follow Through With the Kick
Following through with the kick keeps the ball on track towards the target. After kicking the ball and breaking the contact between it and your foot, do not immediately return your leg to the ground. Instead, keep it going forward like you're kicking the air, following through with your shot.
If you don't follow through with the kick, you reduce your impact on the ball, interfering with the accuracy. In addition, the ball can stray from the target as your foot's connection with it breaks.
Observe the Barriers and Calculate Your Move
Accurate shooting is almost impossible when there is a barrier between you and the target. In addition, since soccer is a competitive sport, you will likely have at least one or two opponents at close range whenever the ball reaches your feet.
Before shooting, take some time to observe your surroundings and identify the best direction in which to kick. If your target is another player on your team, ensure they are aware of your next move to avoid losing the ball when they shift. Then, when targeting the goal, study the goalkeeper's movements and strike powerfully.
Practice Leg Development and Coordination
As mentioned earlier, you can only kick with one foot as the other supports and balances your body. Shooting accuracy in soccer requires both legs to be well developed to perform the tasks and hit the target. The kicking foot should be slightly behind the ball as the non-kicking foot rests near the ball.
Make a mental note of the distance between the ball and the target to determine how far behind you're supposed to stretch your kicking leg.
Focus on Your Kicking Strength
Managing the force, you use to kick the ball is advisable, especially when near the goal post. Your target's distance determines the strength with which to kick the ball to avoid kicking it too close or too far.
When kicking the ball to score a goal, you should use moderate strength to ensure it does not go over the net. If your kicking strength is too little, the ball will stop rolling after a short distance before reaching the target.
Accurate shots make the difference between scoring a goal and kicking the ball across the field aimlessly. To shoot accurately in soccer, you must position your legs properly behind the ball and apply the right amount of force when kicking.
You should also focus on the target and ensure there are no barriers to block the ball from its destination. Lastly, follow through with the shot to maintain a connection with your foot and the target.