8 Different and Practical Ways to Kick a Soccer Ball

The standard way to kick a soccer ball is to use your instep or the side of your foot for shooting and passing. Different situations call for other ways to kick the ball. Players must adapt to the run of play and know different ways to kick a soccer ball.

There are many different ways to kick a soccer ball. Each type of kick can be used for various reasons during a game. Power shots, backheels, headers, and toe balls are all practical ways to kick a ball. They can all be used to pass and shoot on the ball.

Keep reading for more information on how to kick a soccer ball. I’ll detail each one and when you can use them in a game.

8 ways to kick a soccer ball

Kicking a soccer ball is more than just connecting your foot with the ball. There are different ways to do it, depending on your situation.

Here are eight useful ways to kick a soccer ball in different situations:

  • Use your laces
  • Use the inside of your foot
  • Backheel
  • The outside of your foot
  • A header
  • A bicycle or overhead kick
  • The toe ball
  • The scissor kick

Kick with your laces for a standard power shot

The power shot is considered the standard soccer shot, where players strike the ball with their laces, generating power and velocity to beat the goalkeeper and score a goal. The power shot can be used anywhere on the field, but this way of kicking a soccer ball is best used for long shots from outside the penalty area. Strike through the center of the ball with your laces for the best results. This type of shot can also be used to volley the ball out of the air before it hits the ground.

Use the inside of your foot for more control

It’s easier to guide the soccer ball if you kick it with the inside of your foot. This ball-kicking method works best for short passes and finesse shots where players use pinpoint accuracy to complete a pass or score a goal. You can also use the inside of your foot to curve the ball by following through it in the direction you want it to go.

Different ways to kick a soccer ball - the inside of the foot shot or pass.

Backheel the ball for backpasses or backward shots

If you know a teammate is behind you but don’t have time to turn and pass the ball, you can use your heel to kick it. Additionally, if your back is turned to the goal and you’re close enough, you can use a backheel shot to score.

Using your heel to kick the ball isn’t a good idea if you don’t know who’s behind you or where you are on the field. Avoid backheel passes if you haven’t taken a look over your shoulder first.

Use the outside of your foot to spin the ball

This is a great way to kick the ball if you’re not too comfortable shooting or passing with your weak foot. Use the outside of your foot to strike across the center of the ball, from right to left for right-footed players and left to right for left-footed players, to generate spin on the ball and curve it in a particular direction.

Use your head when the ball is in the air

A header is optimal for playing the ball out of the air. Any player can use their head to pass and shoot the ball. Headers are used to avoid committing fouls. Sometimes, the ball is too high in the air for us to swing our foot at it. If your foot is too high in the air near another player, it will be called a foul for “playing in a dangerous manner.”

Do a bicycle kick if it makes sense

The bicycle kick is more than just cinematic – it has actual use on the field and doesn’t just look cool (it does look really cool, though). This kick is useful when your back is to the goal and the ball is in the air. If no defenders are close enough and you need to get a shot off, consider jumping up and doing an overhead kick.

The bicycle kick is dangerous. Children should refrain from doing this type of kick under any circumstance.

Kick it with your toe for quick shots and passes

When it comes down to it, you can kick the ball with your toe. It’s a practical way to pass and shoot the ball in tight spaces on the field when you traditionally don’t have much time to kick it. It works well if done correctly – be careful, as you can hurt your toe. Young players should avoid kicking with their toes to prevent injury because it can become a bad habit.

Scissor kick if a ball is slightly behind you in the air

A person performing a scissor kick.

The scissor kick is more uncommon than the other types of kicks in soccer. It’s when you jump up, turn your body close to parallel to the ground and kick the ball. It’s close to a bicycle kick, but you don’t entirely turn upside down to kick it. A scissor kick isn’t the most practical option for kicking the ball, but if you don’t have the time to let it fall to your foot, consider jumping up for a scissor kick.

Sean Tinney

I’m Sean Tinney, a lifetime soccer player and Ball At Your Feet owner. This website is a hub for practical soccer advice, information, and insights from one player to another.

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