Tips for Shooting the Ball from Distance

Andrea Pirlo knows how to score from distance - (Photo: En.wikipedia.org)

During the typical soccer match, many players will at some point attempt the glorious long-range shot.  Although highlight reels are filled with such screeching efforts blasting into the net, the chances of these efforts becoming goals are extremely low.  Additionally, the lost opportunity to pass or run into a better area with a higher scoring chance is lost.  Nevertheless, an eye for goal is a crucial aspect in life for a soccer player, and when the mood strikes him or her so, the long shot is sometimes precisely what is needed to give your team the lead and a boost of enthusiasm.  Here are some tips on when and how to take such a strike.

Only take such a shot when there is a clear lane to shoot through.  So many of these shots are harmlessly deflected or blocked.  When you feel a defender bearing down upon the ball, try a different approach; perhaps go for the fake shot to catch them off balance so you can maneuver past them, or maybe just pass the ball off to a teammate.  This keeps possession and helps you progress to a more likely goal-scoring position.

Now, if the lane is clear and the opportunity is presenting itself, think of the shot.  You need to do two things perfectly right in order to score.  First you need to shoot with immense pace.  The goalie will have a long view of this ball, and any soft kick will easily be saved.  Shoot with power.  Secondly, you need to aim.  This is where it gets tricky.  You basically want the ball to find a corner of the goal and basically skid in off the goalpost (such a shot is nearly impossible to save).  However, as your shot power increases, your aim likely decreases.  Finding that balance is vital.  This is why so many long shots go sailing harmlessly over the goal; players get over-excited and hammer the ball way too hard, and their aim is virtually nonexistent.

Learning how to shoot with both power and precision is an art that only comes with lots of practice.  Therefore, be sure to try out some long distance shots on your own and get a feel for how hard it can be to not only put the shot on target but to also beat the keeper.  Keep your striking foot over the ball and be leaning a bit forward when you kick.  This helps keep the shot low.  Also, take a quick glance at your target as you shoot.  Blind hopeful shots rarely go in.

Another tip in getting the right long-rage shot is to wait for that moment when the ball is rolling right into your path.  When a ball is rolling, it has more energy already built in and is easier to generate power from.  This enables you to focus more on the aim, which raises your chances of scoring by a great deal.  In fact, most long-range goals are created by a ball rolling right into someone’s path, and are often just taken as one-touch shots.

The ability to score from distance is built on confidence.  Imagine the ball soaring into the nets, and then kick the ball and watch it happen for real.  Obviously, the more you practice it the more likely you are of actually scoring, but sometimes in the right moment you will simply feel the opportunity and convert it.  Focus on your aim and your power, and get ready to celebrate the goal of your life!


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