Soccer Technique - Bending the Ball

Soccer Technique - Bending the Ball

Dick Moss

Soccer Technique - Bending the Ball
Bending the ball is an advanced soccer skill that makes it possible to kick the ball around opponents and to avoid the goalie. You'll commonly see it performed when players must kick the ball around a defensive wall. It is, of course, the skill that has made David Beckham a multi-millionaire, and his ability to bend the ball is so renowned that it became the title of a soccer movie (about soccer-playing girls), called “Bend it Like Beckham.”

While beginners should focus on making hard, accurate, straight kicks, advanced players will find this technique an effective weapon in their offensive arsenal. Here are the basics for bending the ball.

Concept
The key to bending a ball is to kick the ball off-center and hard enough to make the ball spin. Baseball pitchers use the same concept, since the spin they impart to the ball makes the ball drop and curve.

The harder the ball is kicked, and the more off-center it is contacted, the greater the spin and the greater the bend. Here's how to control the direction in which the ball bends. All instructions are for a player striking with the right foot.
 
How to Bend the Ball To Your Left
To bend the ball from right to left, make contact with the ball an inch or two off-center, towards the opposite side of the ball. In order to accomplish this, plant your left foot a little closer to the ball than usual (four-to-six inches, instead of the normal six-to-eight inches).

How to Bend the Ball To Your Right
To bend the ball from left to right, make contact with the ball an inch or two off-center, to the near side of the ball. To accomplish this, plant your left foot an inch or two farther from the ball (eight-to-ten inches, instead of the normal six-to-eight inches). You can also make contact with the outside of the foot.

How to Bend the Ball Downward
Bending the ball down allows the ball to clear a wall, then dip downwards to the goal. Make contact slightly above the center of the ball, which produces top-spin. To accomplish this, plant your left foot the standard six-to-eight inches away from the ball, but an inch or two forward of your normal plant point.

Final Tips
Remember, in order to successfully bend the ball, it's important to be aggressive and kick the ball hard.
To contact the correct spot on the ball, be sure to focus the eyes on that spot and not lift the head until after contact is made.

Summary
To summarize the above points, here's how to make the soccer ball bend. Follow these cues, using a hard, aggressive kick, and you'll soon find yourself bending the ball like Beckham (although you probably won't find yourself married to Posh Spice).


Soccer Technique - Bending the Ball

References


1. David Angelino, Soccer: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Soccer for Life! Kindle Edition,
 Amazon Digital Services, 2014

2. Bending Balls, The Soccer Newsletter from Fine Soccer.com, Edition 30, 2006.
http://www.finesoccer.com/edition63.htm

 

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