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How do you shoot in football?

Football Shooting
File photo credit: Jon Tan

By John Yeong

MASTER YOUR FOOTBALL TECHNIQUE (3): SHOOTING

The ultimate goal in football is to put the ball into the back of the net. Regardless of how good your passing, tackling, or teamwork is, if you don't put the ball into the opponent's net, you can't win. It's as simple as that. 

In this section we discuss 3 of the most common types of shooting in football, with tips on how to improve your technique for one of the most important skills in your armoury that could directly affect the outcome of any football game.

1. Instep Drive

One of the most common scenes from the highlights of goals scored at any football match are shots that are struck from distance. The instep drive is done with the the top part of your foot or laces making direct contact with the ball. 3 steps on executing a good instep drive shot are:

a. Lean forward to keep your shot low
b. Lock the ankle of your kicking foot and strike the centre of the ball off your laces
c. Long back lift but minimum follow through after contact with the ball has been made

2. Chip or Lob

The chip shot or lob is often used in situations when offensive players see the opposing goalkeeper off his line, or away from his goal. In these circumstances the attacker may opt to catch the opponents by surprise by lifting the ball over the keeper into the unguarded net. This is a slightly more advanced level skill used by players who are more technically sound. 3 steps on executing a good chip shot are:

a. Place your non kicking foot firmly beside the ball with arms out for balance
b. As you run up to the ball, your upper body should be standing almost directly over the ball just before striking it
c. Kicking foot makes contact under the ball with minimal follow through

3. Swerve Shot

Made popular by the British movie "Bend It Like Beckham", swerve shots are used most frequently in attacking free kicks but also during open play. The use of swerve is to get the ball around an opponent and back on target.  3 steps on how to execute a swerve shot are:

a. Place your non kicking foot firmly beside the ball with arms out for balance
b. Lock your ankle as your kicking foot makes contact with the side of the ball with the instep
c. Follow through after contact has been made for greater power

Football Shooting
File photo credit: Samuel Lim

Useful shooting tips to keep in mind:

a. If you don't have a friend to train with, use a wall. This will allow you to build accuracy whilst lowering the amount of time needed take to retrieve the ball for another shot. Mark out locations on the wall that you want to hit and correct your technique each time you take a shot.  

b. Don't look up before you shoot! Take a glance to see where you want to place the ball, thereafter keep your eyes on the ball. 

c. Always remember to LOCK your ankles. A loose ankle is an invitation for injury.

Practice makes perfect. If you want to improve your shooting, no amount of reading or watching would suffice. It may be tempting to just watch the “20 best goals” compilations on YouTube over and over again but you're not going to get any better. 

To improve your shooting and hence your team's goal scoring capabilities, you have to go out there and start shooting! Once you have mastered the art of shooting, you may wish to learn how to execute a good volley shot from our advanced section.

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Interested in football and want to hone your skills with the best? Or perhaps you are a parent wishing to expose your child to the beautiful game?

If your answer to either of the above is yes, then ActiveSG Football Academy is the place for you to be at. Led by former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric, and five head coaches with experience from the highest level of football in Singapore: Richard Bok, Robin Chitrakar, Hyrizan Jufri, Mohamad Hairil Amin, Isa Halim, and Steven Tan, ActiveSG Football Academy has a holistic football programme designed to build character and impart the right skills while encouraging trainees to pursue their sporting passion with the right attitude.

To find out more or sign up for the academy, visit this link here.