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Instructional Instep Drive (Kicking)

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INSTRUCTIONAL SOCCER PROGRAM

INSTRUCTION AND DRILL:  THE INSTEP DRIVE (KICKING)

Introduction

Because the “instep drive” is the most important kicking skill in soccer, it is critical that it be introduced properly during the Instructional Soccer Program. Soccer players do not “toe” the ball when they kick, but use the top part of the foot covered by the shoelaces, known as the “instep.”  Just as a tennis racket becomes an extension of the arm, with the wrist locked as the ball is struck, so the foot becomes an extension of the leg, pulled down with the ankle locked, just as the soccer ball is kicked.  (The instep drive is also sometimes referred to as the “instep kick” or the “laces kick.”)

#6 - Full Instep

#6 – Full Instep

Demonstration

To contact the ball, the non-kicking foot is planted far enough away from the ball to allow for the extension of the kicking leg and foot without the toes of the kicking foot stubbing the ground. The non-kicking foot should generally point in the direction the ball is intended to go. The upper part of the kicking leg is pulled back at the hip while the knee of the kicking leg is flexed. The upper leg of the kicking foot is then brought forward while the lower leg is forcefully extended so as to drive the instep into the ball. A follow-through is then very important.

Like the angle on the head of a golf club, the angle at which the instep contacts the ball will determine the ball’s flight. This angle will depend on the placement of the “plant” or non-kicking foot. If the non-kicking foot is planted behind the ball, the instep of the kicking foot will generally be rising and the angle will cause the ball to go up. If the non-kicking foot is planted beside the ball, the instep will generally be perpendicular to the ground and the angle will cause the ball to go along the ground.

It should be clearly shown that the ball is not being kicked with the front of the shoe or being “toed.” It should further be shown that proper balance will allow the kicking foot to swing freely “through the ball.”

Drills

  • On hands and knees, players (with the help of parents) point toes straight behind and tap the ground with both insteps.
  • In the position above, add the ball, held by the parent, so that it is struck with the instep, first with one foot and then with the other.
  • Have players sit with arms out and back, hands to the ground for balance, so that one leg and then the other can be brought up freely. Add the ball, held by the parent, so that it can be struck with the instep, first with one foot and then the other.
  • (A simple, low “punt” to the parent may also be tried to get the ball onto the instep, but this is usually too difficult for beginners.)
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Dribble and then kick.
  • Standing instep drive to the parent, right then left, using proper form and not for power or distance.
  • Same as above with a simple walk up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick.
  • Run up to the ball and kick for power and distance.
  • Dribble and then kick.

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON HOW TO TEACH THIS SKILL, SEE:  Introduction to the Instep Drive – The Big Kick of Soccer

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John Harves

CoachingAmericanSoccer.com®

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