How to Curve the Ball in Soccer
Curving the ball in soccer can be a valuable tool to have in your kit. The highlight reels will usually broadcast shots on goal; however the skill is equally as valuable when passing. As a result, learning to strike the ball so it moves left to right or right to left in the air, will provide players with another skill to get the ball passed defenders.
Whether your dominant foot is left or right, the principals are the same when looking to swing the ball. For the purpose of this guide, I will discuss it as a right footer.
Steps to Curving the Ball
Approach the ball from an angle around 45 degrees from the left. In the image below, the 2 solid lines coming from the ball represent a 90 degree angle. The black curved line near our striker represents the arc angle that a player could run to get the balance of power and curve on the ball, circa 45 degrees.
Approaching the ball involves running towards the ball, commencing with small steps that get longer as you reach the ball.
Plant the left foot closely adjacent to the ball.
To curve the ball from right to left, connect with the ball to the right of centre, half way up the ball.
The lower you connect the higher and more flight the ball will get. The part of the foot that connects with the ball is the inside of the foot just above the ball of the foot. Not past the arch of the foot (you will lose power once passed the beginning of the arch).
Contacting the ball at the right of centre propels the ball spinning in the direction that the ball has been struck. This spinning motion allows the ball to then curve from right to left.
It is essential to lean slightly into the shot. Leaning backwards will send the ball higher into the air and while the spin make kick in, it will not go to the desired target. Further, having the toes pointing slightly upwards will help control the height and bring the ball down rather than onwards and upwards.
4. Follow through
The curve of the ball will be enhanced by swinging the leg rapidly across the line of your body after contact. This should almost be a natural feeling as the body leans to the left on contact, the contacting foot should follow the body in that direction as it whips the ball in the direction desired.
Why you need to be able to curve the ball
If you are serious about your football, being able to curve the ball will be an integral part of your game. It will allow you to curl the ball around goal keepers and walls, split defenders and use narrower channels and gaps to swing the ball into a desired objective. In the absence of this skill, you will rely more on your team mates moving into space and limit your shooting capabilities.
Curving the ball is a skill that you will have to work at to get the desired success. Attempting hundreds, if not thousands of kicks to perfect the skill is what is required. So what are you waiting for?by