The Art of the Goalkick

How To Take The Perfect Goalkick

The Art of the Goalkick

Today we're going to be covering something that happens every single game, no matter what level you play at.

Goal kicks.

Many people think the trick to taking a goal kick is just to hit the ball as hard as you can and then it will go far, but that's not actually the case.

Taking goal kicks can be quite difficult and there's a fair amount of nuance to the technique.

First we're going to discuss the decision making of taking goal kicks that you should be focusing on as about as a goalkeeper, or as a field player stepping in to take the goal kick.

After that, we're going to breakdown the proper goal kick technique in a few simple steps.

1. Options for Goal kicks

There are at a base level three different ways to take a goal kick.

Option 1: Short Pass

The first passes you should look to make from a goal kick are not the long clears over the whole field, but are the short, on the ground passes to your own defenders who can carry the ball up field.

It's the most boring and un-fun goal kick, but it's also a way to keep possession of the ball, which is crucial.

It's important to remember that, while sometimes it's good to get the ball as far away as you can, when you're taking a goal kick you are in possession of the ball and keeping possession is always preferable, so look to get the ball to a teammates first.

Option 2: Medium (chip) or Long Pass

These are the types of goalmkicks that we'll be covering in the technique section below.

When you can make them accurately, these passes to allow your team to keep possession of the ball, but they also move the ball up the field much faster and can catch the defense off guard.

They also have the added benefit of getting the ball away from our goal, which as goalkeepers (or defenders) is exactly where we like it.

For these types of kicks, you're either looking to play the ball directly at a player, for them to receive the ball. Or, you're looking to play the ball into space, to a winger who is open, or over the defenders to your striker.

It is incredibly difficult to receive a pass that was hit hard from 30+ yards away, so just keep in mind that a 'perfect ball' from you, might still be a difficult ball to handle from someone else.

More than anything, this is a skill that is developed over time and with experience. Feel empowered to, once or twice a game, to go for that hail mary pass, or to pick out your striker 40 yards up field, but don't overdo it as your team will probably start to get frustrated with you.

Option 3: Just Get It Out

Here, we're not trying to create offense. We just want to get the ball as far away as we can.

Maybe it's the near the end of the game and the other team is putting a lot of pressure forward.

Aim to get the ball towards your striker or winger to the sides of the field, preferably towards the corners at the other end.

Somewhere where they can either get the ball and be away from the danger of the middle, or even if the other team gets the ball, they have the maximum amount of distance to work up the field to get it back.

Even if you play the ball far, if it stays in the middle of the field it's easy for the other team to counter attack which is the last thing we want.

The Technique:

Taking a long goal kick is all about technique, and it's different than hitting the ball in any other way.

1. You want to hit the ball with your laces, mid-way between the toes and ankle, with your foot coming at the ball horizontally.

You can imagine your foot is a little bit like a golf club, so you want your toes to be pointed sideways so you can create the flat surface on the top of your foot to hit the ball with.

2. You want your plant foot to be pointed straight or even a little bit open wide when you hit the ball.

This allows your hips to stay open, and generate more power when you swing your leg.

If you point your toe towards the ball, the length of swing you can create with your leg reduces, which means you can put less power into the ball.

3. Keep your eye on the ball as you hit it.

This is easy to understand and easy to forget. Focus on the spot you want to hit the ball.

4. Lean your upper body back a little bit, even let your opposite arm swing out to the side.

This allows your body weight to help lift the ball off the ground.

If you lean forward as you hit the ball, it's likely that it won't get as far or as high because your body weight is counteracting the force of your leg hitting the ball.

Basically do the opposite of what you're taught to do as a striker.

5. Make sure you take a run at the ball from an angle.

If you take your run at the ball from directly behind it, you'll struggle to get your leg out and underneath the ball at the right angle.

Think of the way that an American Football kicker takes a field goal, they step to the side of the ball, and then run and swing through. This is roughly the route we want to take to the ball when hitting a goal kick.

If you need an analogous action to watch and learn from (besides just goal kicks), the field goal in American Football is the closest action to a goal kick in sports.

6. Don't make your run up too long or too short. Keep it simple and make it a routine.

Try to make sure your goal kick routine is simple and identical to every other one. So much of taking a good goal kick is about repetition and your body learning the right way to take the kick over time.

7. Relax.

Very often, the harder you try to kick the ball, the less good it will do.

Take a deep breathe, focus on making good contact with your foot, and letting the technique get the ball up and out.

Once you have the technique down pat, then you can begin to put more and more power behind the ball, but until them stay simple.

That's all we've got for you this week.

Until next time!