Without the correct kicking technique football might as well be just called ball. A player’s feet are their main weapons on the pitch and there are a number of techniques for kicking a football that give the player a different outcome each time.
For the majority of the time a football is kicked either using the inner side of the foot that runs along from toe to heel, or using the small area around the inside of the big toe (between 11 and 12 o’clock if looking down at your foot as though it were a clock face).
There is also the ‘sweet spot’ of the foot running all the way centrally down the foot where the laces are on a traditional boot. This is the part of the foot to strike the ball with when shooting (either from the ground or using the volley technique) as it has a larger surface area and generates more power and accuracy
With each technique the body will be positioned in a different way, in order to propel the ball at different speeds, strengths and heights. The body will always be balanced, with the player’s head up and with the non-kicking foot and both arms providing balance and support while the kicking leg pulls back and follows through the ball as though it wasn’t even there.
To make the ball go higher and slower the body must lean back with the player’s head behind the ball and their head level with the horizon. To make the ball go lower and faster the body must lean forward with the player’s head over the ball and facing down.
The technique for a short-pass using the side of the foot involves a more rigid body posture, where the arms are closer to the body and the kicking foot pulled back a shorter distance and with more of a ‘jabbing’ hit.
The technique for shooting will, in the main, involve the entire body weight on the non-kicking foot as all the other muscles in the body propel the kicking foot forward to strike the ball and then follow through.
One of the masters of the kicking technique is David Beckham and here he is with rugby’s Jonny Wilkinson sharing their own techniques.