back to soccer skills

Section 6

Part 3 - How to Shoot


(show one or two quick shots on goal, then go to normal coach view)

Coach: "So here we are ready to learn how to shoot. Simply put, a shot is when you swing your leg, hit the ball, and the ball flies towards the goal. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Sadly this is not the case. When a player takes a shot, it's not just their leg that moves. Every part of your body becomes involved in the shot, so that you can get the most power behind your shot with the least amount of effort. I'll show you what I mean. Here's me just swinging my leg. No other parts or joints in my body are moving. Now here's a proper shot using nearly all the joints in my body. The difference may be hard to spot so let's see that again. First the leg only shot,...then the whole body kick. Watch closely no in slow-mo...Got the idea? Shooting may be a complicated skill that can be difficult to learn but there is good news. Most of the motions that you need to put your body though will happen naturally without you even thinking about it. Even if at first you find yourself struggling with the motion, with a little practice and determination even the most coordinationally challenged player will be able to master it. And no, you won't find 'coordinationally' listed anywhere in the dictionary."
(follow along with the coach's script and show the appropriate scenes. Be sure to make the leg only kick as ridiculous as possible but not absurd)

Coach: "Let's start this right from the beginning. Before we even start out shot we need to know how to approach the ball. It seems like a simple enough thing. You run up to the ball and kick it, right? Afraid not. Let's think about this. If I swing my leg to kick, where does it go? How does it move? It starts out straight at the back, but then curves to the other side of my body on the follow-though. Since it goes there naturally we should plan our kick to incorporate this motion. If we don't, we will end up fighting our own body and we won't get any power into our shot. We want the ball to go straight, but our legs wants to go sideways. How to we fix this? The answer is to approach the ball from an angle so that your leg finishes straight. If we stand 45 degrees off center, like so, our leg should follow-though straight, and this will happen."
(start normal view. Have coach act out what they're saying. Pan and zoom to follow what the coach is saying and demonstrating. Finish with the coach making a really hard shot on goal. Maybe replay the shot a couple times with some in slow mo and some in really slow mo for effect)

Coach: "Now that we've got out approach planned out, we need to know hat to do with our legs and feet. In case you forgot, you have two legs. One leg is the planting leg, and the other is the kicking leg. The planting foot is attached at the bottom to the planting leg, and the kicking foot is attached, also at the bottom, to the kicking leg. Feeling patronized yet? If you're lucky maybe we'll do spoon feeding next. Back to business. Imagine a line sideways though the center of the ball. The tip of your planting foot should be just touching this line. Any further forward and you'll be kicking the ball in to the ground. Any further back and your kicking foot will come too much under the ball and your shot will go sailing over the goal."
(start with normal coach view. Do a graphic showing the line though the center of the ball as described. Do an above view with the line and then have the coach place their foot in the scene as they describe it. Do two short clips showing the result of having your planting foot in the wrong place)

Coach: "In the sideways direction your planting foot should be approximately shoulder length from the center of the ball. This distance will vary greatly from person to person. The best approach to finding this distance is to just keep trying until it feels comfortable. Eventually it will become as automatic as walking."
(do the above the ball view again with the coach's foot coming into view as they describe it. Finish with normal coach view)

Coach: "Onto your kicking foot. Grab your kicking foot and pull it behind you. Grab the tip of your toes and pull them towards you until your ankle won't move any further. Lock your ankle in this position and remember how it feels. Practice moving your ankle form a relaxed position to the pulled back position, without using your hand. This foot-ankle position is the one you will use when shooting. This position is ideal because when your foot hits the ball, your foot forms a line almost straight up and down. This means that all your energy will go into kicking the ball forward towards the goal. If your foot is forward even just the smallest bit, it will contact the ball at an angle and the ball will go higher into the air. To get the most out of your shot, try to kick the ball with the laces area of your foot. This area is the hardest and most stable part of your foot. If you try to kick the ball with the end of your foot, not only will the ball not go very far, but it's likely to hurt your ankle as well. Imagine a line through the center of the ball and a line coming out from your laces. In a perfect shot, these lines will contact each other when you kick the ball. As you foot strikes the ball, make sure your ankle remains solidly locked in place. If it doesn't, power will be lost and the ball will not go quite where you hoped it would."
(start in normal coach view. Change views and zoom as the coach speaks to best show the shooting foot-ankle position and how to find it. Do a ground-level side view of the ball when the coach talks about the foot contacting the ball. Do a line graphic to show the angle the foot makes when it contact the ball properly. Maybe do a slow-mo of the foot approaching the ball. Have it stop just as the foot touches the ball. Show the resulting kick. Repeat for the incorrect kick. Repeat the graphic, slow-mo, and resulting kick section for the laces part. Show a player or the coach kicking the ball with a loose ankle. Try to make the resulting kick as absurd as possible. Have it go high and to the side if possible. Show a shot of the player's b/f or g/f with arrow and text identifying them. Then have the ball hit them. Then repeat with the arrow and turn them into an ex b/f or g/f, or shot them sleeping in a doghouse that night)

Coach: "Ok, we've got our feet in the right position; let's look at how we swing our kicking leg. Approach the ball running or jogging normally. The shot is incorporated into that motion. You will have to plan your approach so that your planting foot ends up in the correct position at the correct time. This can be done by changing the length of your stride in the final few steps."
(start normal view. Show the coach approaching the ball. Do a scene that shows the step length change that they're describing. That scene should be done from the side of the coach with an emphasis on their feet and the location of the ball. Several clips from different perspectives may be needed)

Coach: "When your planting foot is in position, before you start your kicking motion, transfer all of your weight to it so that you are standing on one foot. As you transfer, you will find that you actually jump slightly. This jumping helps propel your body and kicking leg forward, gibing you more power in your kick. If you do not transfer all of your weight before you start your kick, you will end up dragging your kicking foot along the ground and your shot will be weak."
(show a side view of the coach as they describe and demonstrate the transferring of weight to the planting foot. After they have demo'd and described this show the same type of scene but have the coach kick the ball. Do the scene in slowish-mo so that the viewer can watch for the weight transfer in action. Then do a scene again from the side showing the dragging foot kicking style. Show the result of that kick next to a good kick for viewer comparison)

Coach: "At the same time you transfer your weight, begin to bring your kicking foot backwards. You will bring it back further than you would if you were running. This is so that your leg has more time to accelerate towards the ball. Once your weight is fully transferred, bring your kicking leg forward by swinging it forward through the hip and rotating on your planting hip. Watch closely. My kicking hip moves straight forward, and my planting hip joint rotates. This motion should feel very natural. If you feel like you're forcing in some way then you're probably going wrong somewhere. Try breaking each motion down and practicing it on its own. Rotating. Swinging."
(camera emphasis on the legs and hip of the coach. Change perspective and zoom to best illustrate what the coach is saying. For 'rotating,' show a full body shot of the coach rotating on their planting leg. For 'swinging,' show the same but with the coach swinging their kicking leg. Do each a couple of times in a row. Finish with the coach kicking without the ball only once to show both motions)

Coach: "Ok so we've got a good idea of what happens with our legs and hips. Now we've got to see what happens with the rest of the body. If you thought it was complicated before, wait until you see what your arms are doing. Don't worry, you'll manage. Let's start with the torso and the head. During the entire shooting motion your back must remain completely straight. Keeping it straight will help to maintain balance and body stiffness which is important for a good strong shot. As well as being straight, your body should remain almost perfectly straight up and down. Inexperienced players will sometimes jerk their body forward as they kick. This motion helps bring their kicking leg forward a bit faster by pulling it to their chest. This may seem in theory to be an alright method but in fact it will limit a player to far below their potential. If you or anyone is doing this...stop them or yourself and do this...I think you see my point."
(start normal view. For torso straight part have coach turn sideways and do line graphic on them.. Maybe show a slow-mo of the shot in action with the graphic line on the coach the whole time. Go back to normal view. Have coach act out what they explain as they explain. For 'doing this' show the coach doing the jerk forward shot on goal. Make sure it looks really bad. For 'do this' show the coach doing a proper shot on goal. Make sure it looks much better. Finish in normal view for last line)

Coach: "We now come to the last, but definitely not least important part of the shooting motion, the arms. The arms are used in two ways: for balance, and for kind of spring-loading your body. Here's how it works. At the same time you're transferring your weight, as well as bringing your kicking foot backwards, swing both your arms and twist your body the same direction as you will be kicking. Then as you swing your kicking leg forward, swing both of your arms back in the opposite direction. The initial swing of your arms will help the rotation motion get started. The return swing of the arms will help pull your kicking leg forward by pulling across your chest and twisting your body. Watch here in slow-motion. Notice again the small jump forward to get the process going. The arms come across to start the rotation...and then they return to help power your kicking leg into the soccer ball."
(start in normal view. Have the coach act out what they are describing. Change perspectives and use slow and stop motion to best illustrate what the coach is teaching)