Our weekly kicking Q&A provides our followers the chance to get answers to the questions they need answering. Although kicking Q&A takes place on Tuesday’s we are always happy to hear your questions as we help you develop your overall game. This round-up offers you the answers you might be searching for to take your kicking to the next level.
Q. How can you put yourself under the most amount of pressure in a session to replicate a match?
A. Firstly don’t have to many match kicks per session, otherwise they lose their importance. A few suggestions we can offer is to create a competition between yourself and another kicker, you can create a forfeit if you miss and get your teammates and coaches to watch the competition. Finish the session with your last kick from in front at about 80% of your max distance. If you miss you don’t get a second chance (finish on a miss). CLICK HERE to read our blog on Pressure Practice.
Q. Should female kickers change any technique due to the physical differences (hip width etc.)?
A. No, we wouldn’t expect girls to kick any differently, we coach girls technically in the same way we coach the boys. There are some great female kickers out there. We just need to get more girls kicking at an early age. The biggest issue is a lot of girls lack the confidence to kick, something we would love to help change.
Q. What is a J-Shape when kicking?
A. J-Shape relates to the line your body follows to encourage kicking with body weight, helping generate more power. CLICK HERE to watch our video on J-Shape kicking.
Q. How can I improve the kicks with the wrong foot?
A. Practice, practice, practice. If you can practice good technique with your weak foot as often as you kick with your strong foot, it will improve quickly. To start it will feel unnatural however stick with it. CLICK HERE to download our free eBook which might have some more ideas.
Q. Why do you have to run forward after kicking, is it necessary?
A. As a practice, it helps create a better posture on impact and encourages weight transfer through the ball. Moving towards the target creates more power and improves accuracy.
Q. What about planting your foot before the ball, shouldn’t it be level with the ball?
A. Yes we would encourage players to place their foot next to the ball. If your foot is slightly behind however it won’t limit your success so long as the foot is still travelling through the ball towards the target.
Q. Can kicking balls which are too soft or too hard effect your style?
A. If a ball is to hard you won’t find a sweet spot & it can lead to frustration and injury. Ask yourself the question ‘would I kick this with a bare foot?’ If the answer is no, then it’s too hard. If it’s way too soft it won’t explode off your foot. The best way to check pressure is that you should be able to push the end of the ball in around 4cms. The ball should slightly wrap around the foot on contact, allowing it to explode away.
Q. How do you create a bigger stride through the ball?
A. Be careful trying to create big strides/lunges through the ball. Aim instead for smaller, more controlled steps into the ball and to get the kicking foot down early after contact (follow along). CLICK HERE to watch our video on Follow Along.
Q. How to get more power out of your kicks?
A. Work on kicking with body weight, not just with your legs. You can do this by getting your weight through the ball in the direction of the target.
Q. How can you relax yourself before an important kick in a match?
A. Firstly take your time, try to take deep breaths to help lower your heart rate. Focus fully on your kicking process, NOT the outcome.
If you have any questions you want answering our weekly kicking Q&A takes place every 2 weeks on Tuesday’s. CLICK HERE to go to our IG account.